Advising e-cigarette regulations in Australia: the e-cigarette surveillance project
Presenter: Emily Stockings
Author names: 1Stockings, E, 1Powell M, 1Pedersen M, 1Townsend H, 1Chen R, 1Peacock A, 1McRobbie H, 1Degenhardt L, 1Farrell M
Author affiliations: 1The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), University of New South Wales, Australia
Introduction: Electronic cigarettes are small, battery-powered handheld devices that simulate conventional tobacco smoking by heating a liquid (e-liquid) which is aerosolised and inhaled by the user. The rapid uptake of these devices in recent years has sparked concerns regarding their potential harms. Conversely, there is emerging evidence that e-cigarettes may help smokers quit. As a result, there has been uncertainty regarding how these devices should be regulated in Australia
Aims: This is a Department of Health funded project which aims to establish a 'surveillance system' for monitoring e-cigarette use and harms in Australia.
Methods: We established a series of protocols to triangulate information sources on e-cigarettes, including: conducting epidemiological reviews of the literature, compiling existing data sources where e-cigarette use is captured and developing novel web scraping methods to assess the social media and online retail landscape.
Results: Findings from this project are currently under embargo. This presentation will provide an overview of the e-cigarette regulatory context in Australia and the methods and key learnings from the project.
Implications: The findings from this project are currently being considered by the Department of Health and Therapeutic Goods Administration to advise e-cigarette regulations in Australia.