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Push to raise legal smoking age as e-cigarettes ‘hook kids’

A mining billionaire is challenging tobacco companies to take nicotine out of e-cigarettes if they want to prove they’re less harmful than regular smoking.

Andrew Forrest, who is campaigning to raise the smoking age to 21, believes the products introduce kids into smoking.

Mr Forrest tells Alan Jones while the electronic version may take out grasses and chemicals, they can still contain a very addictive chemical.

He says e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking, and manufacturers are targeting kids.

“They’ve got to get it into kids, Alan because if they don’t get it into kids, they run out of business, because at the other, end people die.”

While it’s often understood e-cigarettes are an “off-ramp” for smoking, Mr Forrest disagrees.

“Why is it proven that it’s three times more likely if a kid smokes e-cigarettes, that a year later they’re going to be smoking cigarettes?

“And that’s the problem… they market it as candy.

“They’re not aiming for off-ramp, they’re aiming for kids.

“They talk about the 95 per cent of other rubbish, but the five per cent they’ve left in Alan, is 100 per cent of the nicotine which you get in a cigarette. And they leave that in because they need e-cigarettes to hook kids.”

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