Drugs

Vapes are on track to become prescription-only in Australia

Vapes and other heat-not-burn tobacco products may only become accessible via a doctor’s prescription in Australia.

Vape-nation, you better listen up. You might need to take a trip to the doctor if you wanna continue that grape-flavoured nicotine habit.

There have been some recent changes from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regarding classifications. Nicotine has been relabelled a prescription-only medication, instead of a dangerous poison. The interim decision isn’t final, but it would result in e-cigarettes, e-juice, chewing tobacco, and the likes all requiring a doctor’s prescription in an attempt to dissuade people from consuming them. However, normal cigarettes would remain completely legal.

Vape
Photo: Shutterstock

Since its rise in popularity, vaping has been both a complex and controversial topic. Just check out the tweet below for proof.

I’ll give you a simplified explanation of the vaping argument that’s been taking place both in politics and at the smoker’s table. On the one hand, heat-not-burn nicotine products such as vaping have been proven as an effective tool for quitting smoking. On the other hand, vape related products have been wildly popular amidst kids and teenagers who don’t smoke. So, allowing nicotine vapes to be legal means a new generation is getting hooked on nicotine real early. If only we could follow the footsteps of the UK, where over one million people have quit smoking since the start of COVID-19.

Regardless of your viewpoint on the topic, TGA’s idea does propose an interesting middle ground. Smokers who are looking to quit will be able to access the medicinal benefits from vaping, but those who don’t smoke (especially young adults), won’t.

However, there are still valid points from those opposed to the potential change. Vice reported that Dr Gary Chan from the University of Queensland’s research centre had to this say: “Requiring prescription for nicotine vaping products while letting traditional tobacco products be widely available does not make any sense”.

The worst-case scenario proposed here is that young adults skip the vaping trend entirely and go right to cigarettes, which are obviously far more harmful. We’ll be sure to keep you updated.

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