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In response to reports on illness associated with vaping

24 September 2019

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) acknowledges recent reports in the United States (US) on incidents of severe respiratory illness and death associated with the use of vaping products.

The RANZCP are concerned by these incidents and note they are currently under investigation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More information is needed to determine if the cases are confirmed or probable, and what is causing these illnesses.

Smoking is a leading cause of the poorer health and mortality outcomes suffered by people with severe mental illness.

The RANZCP advocates for a multi-pronged approach to reducing tobacco-related harm and provides very measured support for the use of e-cigarettes and vaporisers as potential harm reduction tools for people with severe mental illness who already smoke tobacco.

The RANZCP also recognises the potential harm which the use of such products may entail and therefore encourages the regulation of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and other vaporized nicotine products.

In line with recent a CDC Health Advisory alert, the RANZCP believes that: ‘Youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not use e-cigarettes.’

It is important that further research is undertaken to continue investigating the long-term health effects of vaping as well as the effectiveness of e-cigarettes and vaporisers as a cessation tool and their potential effect on rates of initiation by young people.

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 (0)3 9640 0646 or +61 437 315 911, or email

For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.