Lung Foundation Australia warmly welcomes and supports the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announcement to request the Governor-General prohibit the importation of e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine.
On Friday 19 June 2020, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced they intend to seek amendment to the Customs (Prohibited Import) Regulations legislation to prohibit the importation of e-cigarettes. From 1 July 2020, there will be a prohibition on the importation of all e-cigarettes containing vaporised nicotine and refills, unless prescribed by a doctor for an individual patient.
Lung Foundation Australia does not support the use of vaping or heat-not-burn products produced by the tobacco industry as aids to smoking cessation. There are proven evidence-based approaches to smoking cessation that do not involve nicotine vaping and heat-not-burn products.
E-cigarettes containing vaporised nicotine pose a significant public health risk through addiction to nicotine, and its proven harms to human health and wellbeing, and nicotine poisoning. Last year, in Victoria alone, 41 cases of liquid nicotine poisoning were reported.
The new regulations, which will be reviewed after 12 months, restrict the importation and use of nicotine e-cigarettes to individuals who have a valid prescription from a doctor. The importation must occur through a pharmacy or authorised importer.
Lung Foundation Australia welcomes these regulations as it takes Australia one step closer to:
- Eliminating “loopholes” or “blind-spots” in the operation of current control measures that facilitate access to unapproved nicotine products
- Implementing Australia’s obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
- Preventing another outbreak of lung disease in younger generations
- Achieving a nationally consistent approach to tobacco/nicotine control.
Lung Foundation Australia notes, however, that more needs to be done to ensure all nicotine products entering Australia are assessed and regulated by relevant Australian authorities.
This announcement comes days after the TGA’s decision to reject Philip Morris International’s proposal to sell heat-not-burn tobacco products in Australia. Lung Foundation Australia congratulates the TGA on their continued commitment to protecting Australians against the dangers of nicotine products.
Lung Foundation Australia believes nicotine must be strongly regulated to protect the social, economic and health interests of all Australians. Together, we will achieve a tobacco-free and nicotine-free society.
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