‘Tighter regulations on vaping products critical,’ says RACGP

Tighter regulations on nicotine vaping products (NVPs) are critical to prevent Australians from harm, says the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGPs).

In a submission made to the TGA, the RACGP is calling for:

  • Stronger border controls, including scrapping the personal importation scheme for NVPs and mandating that non-nicotine vaping products list the ingredients.
  • Stricter regulation of products, including an Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for registered NVPs.
  • A crackdown on flavours and packaging – restricting flavours to tobacco and mandating pharmaceutical-like packaging with added warnings about health risks.
  • Restricting NVP supply to three months per prescription.

Of particular concern here, according to RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins, are the vaping products sold as non-nicotine products while containing nicotine.

“Many vaping products sold as non-nicotine do, in fact, contain nicotine. This makes it clear that getting people addicted is a core part of Big Nicotine’s marketing strategy,” says Dr Higgins.

Dr Higgins says that the increasing number of young Australians taking up vaping is “deeply concerning”.

“More and more young people who have never smoked cigarettes are now vaping and this is deeply concerning,” she says.

“The RACGP created smoking cessation guidelines, which include using nicotine vaping products to aid smoking cessation and that’s because we believe this is the only legitimate use of these products.”

Dr Higgins says that while the correct use of NVPs is within the realm of aiding smoking cessation, tighter regulations are needed to ensure the health of all Australians and to avoid creating “an impression of a safe alternative to cigarettes”.

“We are at risk of trading one public health disaster for another,” she says.

“The RACGP understands that getting a prescription is harder than walking to the shop, but GPs are here to help, and to work with you to improve your health, without judgement,” Dr Higgins says.

“Your GP can work with you to take control of your health, and save you money, by helping you to access smoking cessation products and develop strategies that work for you.”

For more, visit: racgp.org.au/advocacy/reports-and-submissions/view-all-reports-and-submissions/2023-reports-and-submissions/potential-reforms-to-the-regulation-of-nicotine-va

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