Ebene News – UA – Vaping: Greg Hunt abandons plan to ban importation of devices after coalition revolt

Vapers in Australia will need a prescription for liquid nicotine but Greg Hunt quietly scrapped a plan to ban the import of vaping devices after a Coalition Uprising

On Monday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration issued its final decision requiring a prescription from October 1, warning that the benefits of e-cigarettes as a cessation aid must be weighed against the harm to adolescents who could start smoking

In response, the Minister of Health announced that the import restriction proposals he was forced to postpone in June “will not be implemented due to the significant overlap with the TGA decision”

But because the regulations proposed to ban both liquid nicotine vaporizers and personal nicotine vaporizers, Hunt’s decision to ditch it will allow the importation of vaping devices and could also reduce the application of the ban on liquid nicotine

Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes said 28 Coalition MPs and Senators signed a letter opposing the import restriction, and Hunt has now abandoned it

“After the TGA and Hunt announcements, it’s clear that they have listened, reversed their stance on the settlement, and it’s not on the table anymore,” she told Guardian Australia “We welcome this decision”

“We have moved from an attempt to restrict vaping to what is basically the status quo [on personal importation] with a step towards legalization through a national prescription system”

There are already bans in all states and territories except South Australia on personal possession or use of e-cigarettes with nicotine and liquid nicotine without a prescription, but laws are poorly enforced

In a statement, the TGA warned that “people attempting to import commercial quantities of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine may be subject to product importation and seizure and fines potential under existing regulations “

The TGA’s public consultation received more than 2,000 public submissions, many of which vapers feared requiring a prescription would reduce the use of an option that minimizes harm compared to combustible cigarettes

The TGA delegate who approved the ban acknowledged “personal experiences” shared during the consultation, including “the successful use of nicotine e-cigarettes to help these people quit smoking”

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“However, while some smokers have successfully used nicotine e-cigarettes to quit smoking, population-level evidence is lacking”

The delegate expressed concern that adolescents are “vulnerable and particularly susceptible to nicotine addiction”, citing reports from the Irish Health Research Board that e-cigarette use makes them three five times more likely to smoke combustible cigarettes than those who have never used electronic cigarettes

The TGA ruling also requires child-resistant closures for liquid nicotine to reduce the risk to children of accidental ingestion

He announced that the government would allow Medicare reimbursements for doctors to use telehealth to prescribe vaping as a smoking cessation aid, which will be available six months before the October 1 start date

Internal critics of Hunt’s proposal, including Hughes and National Senator Matt Canavan, have warned that a prescription-only model is not practical, with only 14 of 30,000 eligible GPs now prescribing e-cigarettes

The duo’s open revolt has won favor in the Coalition party hall, where 10 MPs and Senators have raised concerns over the statute of limitations-only model, including Liberals Trent Zimmerman, Tim Wilson and Eric Abetz and nationals Perrin Davey, Barnaby Joyce and George Christensen

Earlier in December, a Senate inquiry recommended that the government stay the course on the prescription-only model

Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson has partnered with the Labor and Center Alliance to reiterate that e-cigarettes should be treated as a therapeutic good rather than an over-the-counter consumer good

While supporting the prescribing model as the “best way” to treat smokers, Henderson suggested in additional comments that the TGA “should consider reviewing the classification of liquid nicotine to allow it to be sold in pharmacies without a prescription “in the future

Nicotine, electronic cigarette, smoking cessation, Australia

Ebene News – UA – Vaping: Greg Hunt abandons his plan to ban the import of devices after the revolt of the Coalition

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/dec/22/vaping-greg-hunt-abandons-plans-to-ban-importation-of-devices-after-coalition-revolt