Evidence-based policy or risk minimisation? The regulation of e-cigarettes in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review


Theoretical discussions of evidence-based policy place primary importance on facts and values. However, there are situations in which policy must be made in the absence of facts and values. In this article, one such situation is investigated: the emergence of electronic cigarettes. This article reviews attempts to regulate e-cigarettes in Australia, a country with a history of international leadership on regulating tobacco cigarettes. The article concludes that Australian governments have not been following an evidence-based approach and, further, it suggests that these governments are instead content to minimise political risk by either taking no action or by adapting existing legislation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-328
Number of pages16
JournalEvidence and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • E-cigarettes
  • Evidence-based policy
  • Research utilisation

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