Deadly e-cigarettes seized

SEVERAL packages of deadly and illegal faux cigarettes headed for Rockhampton have been intercepted at the Brisbane airport.

The 70 packages containing liquid nicotine e-cigarettes were seized and destroyed at Brisbane Airport's postal screening service last week.

The electronic cigarettes are battery-powered and emit a harmless water vapour to give the feel of smoking but don't contain the bad odour, carbon monoxide, tar and ash of a normal cigarette.

Some people use them as a tool to quit smoking, but Queensland Health officials have warned regional Queenslanders not to buy them online from the various websites.

It is believed some of the packages of e-cigarettes were to be delivered to regional areas all over Queensland, including Rockhampton.

Health Protection Directorate executive director Sophie Dwyer said liquid nicotine was a very dangerous poison.

"If used inappropriately - or if children get hold of the liquid nicotine - the consequences can be fatal," she said.

The World Health Organisation's International Program on Chemical Safety advises that 10mg of liquid nicotine can kill a child within five minutes of them swallowing it.

Rockhampton woman Robyn Hall is a smoker and said she'd tried to quit in the past, but didn't like the sound of e-cigarettes.

"It doesn't sound appealing," Robyn said.

She said she definitely wouldn't be interested in buying something that was illegal.

"The stress levels of that would just make you want to smoke more."

Ms Dwyer said companies marketing e-cigarettes containing liquid nicotine as a safe alternative and an aid in withdrawal from tobacco smoking were being misleading.

"There is no evidence e-cigarettes are effective in helping people to quit smoking," Ms Dwyer said.

Some Australian companies offer e-cigarettes that don't use liquid nicotine and are legal to buy and use in Australia.



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