Vape control smoked

Update 26/06/24

Legislation passed in the Senate today will see expanded access to nicotine-containing vapes, putting a new generation of young people in harm’s way.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) strongly opposed the amendments, which make vapes available for purchase over the counter in community pharmacies. The amendments were also opposed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, TerryWhite Chemmart, Priceline, National Pharmacies, Blooms and Pharmacy 777 pharmacy groups alongside thousands of independent pharmacies.
Amendments proposed by the Greens in a deal struck with the Government will see nicotine-containing vapes move from Prescription only (Schedule 4) to Pharmacist only (Schedule 3) as early as October this year.
National Vice President of the Guild Anthony Tassone said the amendments compromise community health and do not take into consideration the safety or efficacy of vapes as a smoking cessation device.
“Pharmacists are healthcare professionals and community pharmacies do not want to supply this potentially harmful, highly addictive product without a prescription.
“Thanks to this secret, Greens-led deal, community pharmacies across Australia are being asked to supply nicotine-containing vapes without a prescription,” Mr Tassone said.
Vaping products have not been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and no nicotine-containing vape is listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
“Pharmacists can only supply a schedule 3 medicine if there is an established therapeutic need. When we don’t know the long-term effects of vapes on patient safety, how can a pharmacist make an informed decision?
“We are deeply disappointed that public policy has been developed in a vacuum without consultation prior to these amendments being passed,” Mr Tassone said.
Significant questions remain about the impact the amendments will have on pharmacy insurance premiums, business risks and regulatory compliance. It is also unclear how this change will address concerns around availability of black-market vapes and organised crime.
No guidance or protocol exists for pharmacies to stock unregulated substances with no established therapeutic benefit.
Changes to the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 will come into effect as early as October this year.

From The Pharmacy Guild Of Australia

Given the Coalition will not oppose the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024, the proposed amendments to make nicotine-containing vapes available to teenagers without a prescription are no longer required.
The Guild urges the Government to bring forward a vote on the original Bill, which has already passed the House of Representatives, and to dump their Green’s led amendments which open up greater access to nicotine containing vapes.
The original Bill now has the necessary political and stakeholder support to pass the Senate.
The TerryWhite Chemmart, Priceline, National Pharmacies, Blooms and Pharmacy 777 pharmacy groups alongside thousands of independent pharmacies have already expressed their opposition to nicotine-containing vapes being available without a prescription.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, representing 33,000 pharmacists and 6000 community pharmacies, are both opposed to the Greens’ amendments.
By contrast, the original bill to restrict nicotine-containing vapes as Schedule 4 (Prescription Only) had the support of 63 patient, healthcare and school groups including the Australian Medical Association, the Cancer Council, Lung Foundation Australia, the Public Health Association of Australia, and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. It was also supported by 14 of Australia’s pre-eminent public health individuals.
Nicotine containing vapes are not listed as a therapeutic product, this week or after a dirty Senate deal.
If the Parliament engages in genuine consultation a sensible outcome is always possible, as evidenced by the necessary support now available to pass the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 in its original form.

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