Dr Karen Counter – Tobacco Treatment Specialist
“Hi, my name is Karen Counter. I am a registered Australian medical practitioner, a tobacco treatment specialist, and one of the prescribing GP’s affiliated with Nicovape’s prescription service.
I predominantly specialise in the treatment of chronic disease and preventative medicine, and provide patients with advice on smoking cessation options. I am also a member of the Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals.
I have previously worked at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Institute Smoking Clinic, and also at the Respiratory Medicine department at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. After decades in general practice, I have treated countless patients who were suffering from smoking-related illnesses, and have been watching smokers die for over 35 years.
Australia was once the world leader in tobacco control policies, with the introduction of plain packaging, designated smoke free areas, and steep annual price increases. Despite these continued efforts, last year we saw the total number of smokers in Australia increase for the first time ever. Tobacco-related illnesses still cause 19,000 deaths per year in Australia, that is 365 per week, or more simply, 50 deaths per day. This is someone’s father, mother, brother, sister, child or friend, DEAD, every 30 minutes. And it’s not just the smokers who are at risk; Second-hand smoke was estimated to cause 141 deaths per year in Australia, 28 of these babies.
A growing body of international scientific research has found that e-cigarettes are helping many smokers to quit, and it is estimated that over 7 million Europeans have successfully quit smoking using e-cigarettes. While the long-term health effects of these products have not yet been established, based on current knowledge of the ingredients in e-cigarette vapour, it is highly likely they will be much less harmful than smoking. Current scientific research suggests they are at least 20 times, or 95% safer than smoking.
Almost all of the harm from smoking is due to the inhalation of tar, carbon monoxide, and 7,000 other toxic chemicals in the smoke, produced by burning tobacco leaf. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, and there is no combustion or smoke. Although nicotine is the main addictive chemical in tobacco, it has relatively minor health effects, except in pregnancy and possibly in adolescence. Contrary to the average persons belief, nicotine does not cause cancer or lung disease, and plays only a minor role in heart disease.
As e-cigarettes are inhaled, they may prove to be as addictive as cigarettes, so it is always best to stop vaping at some time if you are able to do so. However, continuing to vape is preferred if stopping puts you at risk of relapse to smoking.
As a doctor, it is my ethical duty to provide my patients with accurate advice and access to the best possible health care services and products that are legally available. To fail to prescribe an e-cigarette product to an adult patient who has been unsuccessful with all other options would in my opinion be a breach of my duty of care to my patient.
The reason I am willing to prescribe Nicovape products to my patients is because they are produced in GMP-certified facilities, ensuring the products I prescribe my patients are of the highest quality, affordable and simple to use. Through Nicovape’s online prescription service, Australians can now finally legally access this potentially lifesaving technology. Please help us reduce the number of smokers in Australia, and achieve our goal of saving a million Australian lives.” – Dr Karen Counter
Dr Attila Danko
Nicovape’s Medical Director
Dr Danko has joined the Nicovape team as Medical Director to help make effective e-cigarettes legally and widely available in Australia for the first time.
Dr Danko has been in clinical practice for almost 20 years, initially in General Practice and then in Emergency Medicine. He was a smoker from the age of 11 and only managed to give up smoking in 2014 by the use of e-cigarettes. He understands how hard it can be to give up smoking, and believes that all reasonable options to quit should be legally and conveniently accessible, especially if all other methods have failed. Appalled by the severe restrictions in Australia against potentially life saving e-cigarette products which current scientific research predict have less than 5% of the harm of smoking, he has campaigned day and night to allow them to be sold as consumer products, just like cigarettes, because countless lives are at stake.
“Australian smoking rates are stuck and refuse to budge, seemingly like the politicians, so it’s time for a new approach through Nicovape’s ground breaking service. We have combined the most effective e-cigarette product available on the market with an online prescription service; the first fully legal offering under Australian law. These are very different e-cigarette devices to the big cloud producing types often associated with vaping. They are small and discreet, only produce a small wisp of vapour, are manufactured to the highest quality standards possible, and are the safest, most effective option available. They are extremely easy to use, no fiddling with refilling or replacing coils, just pop in a pod and go. They also deliver highly effective amounts of nicotine fast, just like a cigarette, to adequately satisfy the cravings and fight off relapse, but without the serious health concerns associated with inhaling smoke and tar.”
Dr Danko believes that these products can be used with confidence by Australian smokers who haven’t been able to quit using existing methods. Even by smokers who have given vaping a go before without success, he advises they should give e-cigarettes another try using the new Nicovape products which use their vastly more effective Nicotine-Salt technology.
In his capacity as Nicovape’s Medical Director, he plans to educate Australian doctors on the potential benefits e-cigarettes can provide to public health, and hopes many will join him in recommending Nicovape products to their patients who haven’t been able to quit using existing methods, now that a much safer, and legal alternative is available.