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Policy Australia’s Nicotine E-Cig Import Regulation is Finalized

On the 21st of December 2020, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) confirmed that as of October 2021, the importation of nicotine for vaping products will require a doctors prescription.

Earlier this year, Australias Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt had announced that a new measure banning the importation of vape liquid containing nicotine, was in the works. A number of public health experts, tobacco harm reduction advocates and MPs, had spoken up against thIs measure, resulting in it being put on hold.

Subsequently last week, Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced the final decision, ..the importation of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine for vaping will require a doctors prescription. This aligns with current domestic restrictions under State and Territory law that prohibit the supply of nicotine containing e-cigarettes in Australia without a valid medical prescription.

The TGA claims that this decision creates a balance in preventing teen vaping, whilst allowing current smokers access to the products for smoking cessation purposes. However, it fails to explain why it is making it harder to obtain the proven safer alternatives, whilst regular deadly cigarettes are still widely available for sale in regular retail stores.

“The decision follows two rounds of public consultation”

The administration specified that this policy was their decision and not one made by the government. The decision follows two rounds of public consultation on the proposed changes during 2020. The decision was made by a senior medical officer at the TGA as a Delegate of the Secretary of the Department of Health. It is not a decision of the Government or the Minister.

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