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Submission received from Zara L White on the draft for consultation of the National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018

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Submission on the draft for consultation of the National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018

Submission Form


Name:Zara L White

Is your submission on behalf of an organisation or professional association?

If yes, which organisation or professional association?

What is your position in the organisation?

Are you or your organisation in any way associated or affiliated with the tobacco industry, or receive funds or resources from the tobacco industry?

Please forward your submission to one of the following addresses:
Email:, or

Post: Draft NTS 2012
Healthcare Management Advisors,
PO Box 1311
Fitzroy North
VIC 3068

I am a 46 year old cancer patient, in the second year of treatment following my diagnosis of breast cancer in October 2010.

I underwent surgery to have my right breast removed in November 2010. Further surgery was required in December 2010, as the cancer had spread to my lymphatic system. Surgery was followed by chemotherapy and related treatments which were delivered intravenously every three weeks for one year, finishing up in February 2012. Today I am taking hormone replacement therapy and experiencing menopause as one of the side effects.

I smoked throughout most of the treatment period, to my considerable despair. My fran-tic attempts to give up included availing myself of all nicotine replacement therapies, which I had used without success in the past. None of these worked.

My husband, who also smoked, researched alternatives and towards the end of 2011 we began to trail e-cigarettes. We phased out cigarettes and phased in e-cigarettes over a period of about a month. My health improved immediately. For example I just measured my blood pressure which is 106/68 during the act of “vaping”, and 106/73 without.

Not bad for someone who has been smoking and trying to quit for 28 years. I have now been cigarette free for months. We took the family to the beach the other day, and I challenged my 10 year old son to a race along the beach. I estimated that I would get to a certain point on the beach before pulling up, gasping for air. I was surprised to find that this didn't happen and that my recovery from the sprint was rapid. I have more energy and am walking daily with the family to improve my fitness. I am experiencing hope which is tremendously good for my family and I. We are rebuilding our lives together, relishing this second chance to enjoy a more healthy and happy life. My doctor is thrilled with my progress and all of the medical tests I have undertaken since switching to e-cigarettes have shown marked improvement in health.

I am so grateful that this new technology is available, and I am so relieved that I no long-er feel compelled by the insane urge to light and smoke a disgusting, stinking, polluting cigarette. The very thought fills me with horror and despair.

If you could walk in my shoes and pay the terrible price for smoking that I did, you would understand what an appalling prospect lies ahead of me if legislation is introduced to ban e-cigarettes. I would be forced to return to smoking and the poisonous circus of cigarette addiction.

How can anyone condemn a product that has played such a pivotal role in returning me to good health and securing hope for the future for myself, my two young school aged kids and my loving husband? As a child, I watched my parents smoke themselves to death, and it was as distressing and heart breaking for them as it was for us kids to witness.

Please consider the benefits of this technology before consigning it without due process to the rubbish bin. Please consider the harm that is minimised by the use of e-cigarettes. Please consider reading the following article published by The American Council on Science and Health on May 29, 2012: American Council on Science and Health website

I have included a quote from the article here from the president of The American Council on Science and Health, Elizabeth M. Whelan, Sc.D., M.P.H. :

‘We at ACSH firmly believe that the more comprehensive the investigation, the more likely it is that reasonable people will come to understand that the official policies of adhering to a current attitude of ‚”quit or die”‚ does little to affect the continued toll of over 400,000 smoking-related deaths each year. This is no longer an acceptable position from a public health perspective, which is why we ask you to reconsider your negative stance toward e-cigarettes.’

To counter some of the erroneous data quoted on e-cigarettes, the work of Dr Konstanti-nos Farsalinas (Greek Cardiologist) is the most rigorous and up to date and should defi-nitely be examined by anyone serious about creating fair and sensible policy.

He has researched: blood pressure, systolic pressure, heart rate, & summarised the existing data as well. He has been invited to present (talk, not a poster) at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich (The largest medical conference in Europe) in August this year. As you would be aware, there has already been significant peer review to generate such an invitation (as well as an indication that his research was considered properly done, as well as important to the leaders of the medical community there). He is of the firm opinion that banning e-cigarettes is tantamount to a criminal act against smokers.

He presented at the American College of Cardiology Conference in Chicago in March. He also did strain pattern echocardiograms (this is a new echo technology), on cigarette users vs vapers.

He is interviewed at Youtube website

Further evidence is provided in The Lancet:
“Assessment of Swedish snus for tobacco harm reduction: an epidemiological modelling study” Volume 369, Issue 9578, Pages 2010 - 2014, 16 June 2007
The Lancet website)

Where it was found:

There was little difference in health-adjusted life expectancy between smokers who quit all tobacco and smokers who switch to snus (difference of 0•1—0•3 years for men and 0•1—0•4 years for women).


Current smokers who switch to using snus rather than continuing to smoke can realise substantial health gains. Snus could produce a net benefit to health at the population level if it is adopted in sufficient numbers by inveterate smokers. Relaxing current restrictions on the sale of snus is more likely to produce a net benefit than harm, with the size of the benefit dependent on how many inveterate smokers switch to snus.

I thank you for your consideration,

Zara White

Page currency, Latest update: 13 March, 2013