Australia has been unreasonable in regards to tobacco harm reduction and so we urge Australian vapers oppose the prescription model for smokeless nicotine products. Last July, the Federal health Minister of Australia Greg Hunt, announced ongoing talks with the country’s Border Force, regarding a ban on the importation of vape liquid containing nicotine. Also nicotine e-liquids would still be available through doctor’s prescription. The announcement caused an uproar with the Tobacco Harm Reduction experts and vaping advocates. Do to the announcement, numerous organizations and individuals like Australian Senator Matthew Canavan and MP George Christensen, started a petition to reverse the import ban and to instead have nicotine legalized and regulated.
Last month, the National Retail Association (NRA) said that the proposal put forward by the government to consider allowing only pharmacies to sell smoke-free nicotine products is the “worst of both worlds,” for convenience shops. CEO Dominique Lamb said, “This makes no sense, that cigarettes would be freely available over the counter to corner stores and service stations, but the product that can help people transition away from smoking would be restricted. So outside doctor’s or pharmacists’ work hours, the only available option would be cigarettes. This flies in the face of common sense.” Swayed by the current laws and misinformation, the majority of doctors are already not looking to write nicotine prescriptions. Given the requirements to get a prescription for nicotine e-liquids even less doctors would be willing to write a prescription. Lamb also added that excluding small businesses from the safer alternatives’ market in this manner, would put these businesses at risk, disrupt market dynamics, and also be counterproductive to public health. We urge Australian vapers oppose the prescription model for smokeless nicotine products.