Tobacco giant British American in push to make e-cigarettes 'medicine' in Australia: health advocates concerned
Tobacco giant British American has been lobbying the Therapeutic Goods Administration to introduce an electronic cigarette into Australia, describing it as a "medicine".
The information emerged in documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws by the ABC.
Health advocates are worried that allowing big tobacco companies into the e-cigarette market could unleash a wave of seductive advertising that would lure young people into taking up the habit.
Electronic cigarettes are a multi-billion-dollar business overseas, but in Australia they remain largely unregulated and legally contentious.
Long-time tobacco opponent Professor Simon Chapman, from Sydney University, said describing e-cigarettes as medicine was "Orwellian" and destructive to society.
"That's the only word I can think [of] that's apposite here," he said.