Wagga woman Sharon Herd spends her life using hypnotherapy to help people quit smoking.
So when her clients ask her if they can use electronic cigarettes, her answer is no.
“People are asking about it,” she said.
“But in my view, you still have to buy them and you are still picking them up and putting them in your mouth. It’s still a habit.”
It comes following the release of Cancer Council NSW figures that said nearly a quarter of 18 to 24-year-old Australians had tried or use e-cigarettes.
The “concerning” part of the survey for the Cancer Council was that recreation was the dominant reason why young people started using e-cigarettes.
The organisation also said marketing and promotion of the products had reached a point where they were being placed at eye-level and near confectionery to attract the gaze of children.
In recent weeks e-cigarettes have been sold at the Wagga Marketplace and the Sturt Mall in a pop-up shop.
“This is something we used to see with tobacco products,” Cancer Council NSW manager of tobacco control Scott Walsberger said.
“We don’t want people to see this as a new alternative to tobacco smoking. That would undo all the significant work we have done to lower the smoking rate.”
There are indications to suggest people are opting for e-cigarettes as the “healthy alternative” to tobacco smoking and as a means to quit smoking, but Mr Walsberger said there was no conclusive evidence to prove this.
“We’re still catching up and collecting the data on this,” he said.
A Wagga tobacconist, who did not want to be named, said an increasing number of people were turning to e-cigarettes as a path to quiting smoking and because it was cheaper.
“We sell a fair bit and we do have a lot of new people interested in them every day,” the person said.
The person also said e-cigarettes were sold nicotine-free and were less addictive as a result.
Ms Herd said “from an hypnosis point of view, no one is born a smoker” and that the brain could be “reprogrammed”.
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