Warning on e-cigarettes

Health authorities are warning Tasmanians to be aware some e-cigarette liquids being sold may contain life-threatening doses of nicotine and are illegal.

Director of Public Health Dr Roscoe Taylor said recent tests of products available in Tasmania had revealed some samples of the liquid, also known as e-juice and e-liquid, had enough nicotine to cause serious illness, or even death if swallowed.

"Parents using e-cigarettes should be very careful as small children may find the liquids enticing as some have fruit-flavoured or sweet additives," Dr Taylor said.

"The e-liquid packages often do not accurately detail the ingredients of the liquids and do not have any child-resistant closures.

"Children in other parts of Australian have come to harm ingesting the liquid and at least one death has already been reported overseas."

Dr Taylor said it was illegal for e-cigarette liquids to contain nicotine, which is a Schedule 7 dangerous poison whose unauthorised sale was an offence.

"Because e-cigarette liquids in Tasmania are not meant to contain nicotine, consumers might not realise the risk they pose to children."

He also warned consumers using these products as an aide to quit smoking that they may not be reducing their exposure to nicotine.

Dr Taylor said some retailers might not have realised some of these products contained nicotine.

Dr Taylor said Population Health Services had written to all tobacco retailers and others selling e-cigarettes to remind them of the laws on selling products containing nicotine.

Dr Taylor said they now risked prosecution if found selling e-cigarette products containing nicotine.

Smokers can get support to quit by calling the Quitline 13 7848 (13 QUIT), visiting http://quittas.org.au or by talking to their health professional.

More information on e-cigarettes is available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website www.tga.gov.au/consumers/ecigarettes.htmSee Population Health Services fact sheet www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/151182/PHS_E-Cigarettes_Final.pdf