Australian parents are calling for tougher restrictions on e-cigarettes in an effort to reduce uptake
in teens, as research shows half of parents support a total ban on the supply, sale and use of all
products in Australia.

Dave chats with Paediatrician Dr Anthea Rhodes about The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) National Child Health Poll on e-cigarettes and vaping found theoverwhelming majority of parents (87 per cent) support a ban on marketing and advertising of e- cigarettes that targets teenagers, and 78 per cent endorse advertising bans on social media. Morethan half (58 per cent) support a ban of flavoured e-cigarettes, recognising that flavoured products increase uptake among teens.
Health harms and safety are also front of mind for parents with 87 per cent calling for childproof
packaging to be mandatory in an effort to reduce accidental poisoning. Close to nine in 10 parents
(84 per cent) are asking for health warnings on packaging and the introduction of compulsory
safety testing of all e-cigarette products by manufacturers (88 per cent).
Almost half of parents (48 per cent) misbelieve that if e-cigarettes caused health problems, the
government would have banned them by now, and two thirds (66 per cent) were not aware that
e-cigarette products currently sold in Australia are not subject to testing or approval by the
Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Poll Director, Paediatrician Dr Anthea Rhodes, said “This study shows that many parents believe
that if a product is legal it must be safe. E-cigarettes are not safe for teenagers and efforts should
be made to educate people about the risks.”
“It is clear from these findings that parents want regulations in relation to e-cigarettes revisited.
Our findings strongly support government efforts to improve the safety of these products, and
restrict access to our teens and young people in particular.”
The poll of 2029 parents caring for 3638 children also found that while there has been increasing
media attention and health campaigning surrounding these products, a concerning number of
parents are still unware of how dangerous these products can be:
 One in three parents (31 per cent) don’t know that e-cigarettes contain toxins and
chemicals and 40 per cent are unaware that e-cigarettes can cause death
 Almost half (43 per cent) are unaware that e-cigarette liquid can be toxic if swallowed
 A third (37 per cent) are under the misconception that e-cigarettes must be safe because
they are used to help people quit smoking

“Vaporised e-cigarette liquid sold in Australia often contains nicotine, even when the label says it
doesn’t. This highly addictive substance affects the developing adolescent brain and may lead
teens to experiment with other tobacco products and drugs.”

The RCH Poll found the majority of parents (73 per cent) are concerned their teen might try e-
cigarettes yet more than half of parents (57 per cent) have never discussed e-cigarette use with

their teen. Most parents have however discussed smoking regular cigarettes (71 per cent), alcohol
and drinking (81 per cent) and other drug use (81 per cent), suggesting that parents are yet to see
e-cigarettes as common place risky behaviour.
“Talking to teens about risky behaviours is a really important way for parents to help keep their
child safe. Having a conversation about e-cigarettes with your child will not only help educate
them, but help parents to develop an honest line of communication and encourage children to
share their concerns,” Dr Rhodes said.
“We are seeing the popularity of e-cigarette products begin to infiltrate Australia at an alarming
rate. Education on the risks is crucial to support parents and teenagers to have informed
discussions and assist their decision making.
“It’s time to revisit the regulation of e-cigarettes and related products, if we are to avoid an
epidemic of vaping related health harms in Australia.”

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Visit to read the full Poll report ‘E-cigarettes, vaping and teens: Do parents know
the dangers?’ and to access additional resources including information for parents and teens.