E-cigarettes Containing Nicotine Can Only Be Sold By Prescription

Australia: e-cigarettes containing nicotine can only be sold by prescription

According to the latest news, in order to make up for the existing loopholes, TGA has made an interim decision to allow nicotine in e-cigarettes (Chinese HNB heatsticks) to be provided only on prescriptions. Following the repeated appeals from public health experts, Australian authorities agreed to set up a special committee on harm reduction to explore “tobacco reduction strategies” which will include e-cigarettes.

In line with this, the committee will analyze strategies successfully adopted by other countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand along with their impact on tobacco and nicotine use. As well, the committee’s goal is to determine Australia’s methods to reduce youth smoking and e-cigarette(heatsticks manufacturer) smoking and will submit a final report listing the findings of the investigation by December 1, 2020.

The Pharmaceutical Association supports this measure

TGA decided to only provide nicotine for e-cigarettes on prescription. According to Anthony Tasson, president of the Victoria branch of the Pharmacists Association, “They supports the interim decision to reschedule nicotine and the decision to include nicotine in Schedule for drugs.”

Such measures make it more difficult for smokers seeking to quit smoking to obtain these products. “Ideally, these products should be registered with the Australian Therapeutic Products Registry. The Association supports this interim decision that liquid nicotine products are appropriately arranged and controlled for therapeutic purposes to support smoking cessation.”

He also added that: “Requirements to register products on ARTG will solve packaging-related issues, as well as safety and quality issues.” Of course, it is not surprising that the association and other medical institutions will support these measures because it means that they will benefit financially. On the other hand, these measures make it more difficult for smokers who want to quit smoking to obtain these products, thereby reducing their chances of success.

E-cigarette sales are limited to pharmaceutical companies.

In addition to that, the National Retailers Association (NRA) condemned the government’s recommendation to the Therapeutic Products Administration to allow only pharmacies to sell smokeless nicotine products(herbal heat-stick). Dominic the CEO of NRA said that this will create a monopoly.  This is detrimental to small convenience retailers because they rely heavily on tobacco sales.

Lamb said that: “The NRA understands that the Federal Government has asked the Therapeutics Administration to consider whether smokeless nicotine products should be sold in pharmacies whether by prescription or authorized by a pharmacist.”

Lamb as well said that, excluding small businesses from the safer alternative market in this way puts these businesses at risk, disrupts market dynamics, and has a counterproductive effect on public health.