Australia: a new committee formed to represent vaping retailers

Last year, Australian Federal Minister of Health Greg Hunt announced a new measure banning the import of vape liquid containing nicotine. A number of public health experts, tobacco harm reduction advocates and MPs have spoken out against the measure, causing it to be put on hold.

The following December, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced the final decision: “… the importation of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine for vaping will require a medical prescription. This aligns with current national restrictions under state and territory law that prohibit the supply of e-cigarettes containing nicotine in Australia without a valid medical prescription. “

As of October 2021, vapers in Australia will only be able to purchase drugstore vaping products with a prescription.

However, perhaps in response to a number of public submissions against the ban, in January the Australian government decided to temporarily put the ban aside. He established a select committee on tobacco harm reduction, with the aim of launching an investigation into vaping and proposing clear laws on e-cigarettes.

Meanwhile, the RNA Committee will continue to pressure the government against the “illogical” policy that allows vapers to freely purchase vaping products online from overseas retailers, but not locally. While retailers in neighboring New Zealand and most other countries are able to responsibly sell over-the-counter nicotine products, as of October 2021, vapers in Australia will not be able to purchase the over-the-counter nicotine products. pharmacy products than on prescription.

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Jeff Rogut, former CEO of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has been appointed advisor and spokesperson for the committee, said local decision makers do not understand the impact of the measures they have put in place.

“Vaping is one of those things that has grown in popularity and there are around half a million consumers of vaping products in Australia,” Rogut said. “The problem is that nicotine is an illegal product and cannot be sold by retailers, and we recently saw the government’s myopia in not allowing convenience stores, tobacconists or anyone else to the to sell. They are considering restricting that to pharmacies, which we are lobbying pretty fiercely. They make all of these laws and regulations without fully understanding the impact of their decisions. “

He added that the TGA’s decision goes against tobacco harm reduction. “As we have seen with tobacco, the harder you make it and the more expensive you make it, you drive the products underground. The danger for the government is that consumers will buy these products from criminal elements and “black market” importers, as we have seen happen with tobacco products, and they will not know what the product is or what the product is. what it contains. Yes, it could be cheaper and easier to obtain, but from a health perspective it could do more harm than good, and it’s the short-sighted thing the government seems to have overlooked.

Read more : C and me

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