Big Tobacco has no place in Australian healthcare

3 August 2022


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has strongly denounced the reported introduction of a financial incentive program for dispensing nicotine vaping products.


Early reports claim that Philip Morris International (PMI) is looking to provide payments to pharmacists to dispense its “VEEV” vaping product.


PSA National President Dr Fei Sim has categorically rejected the program, urging pharmacists not to participate in the proposed scheme.


“No healthcare professional should accept financial incentives or support from a tobacco company. Big tobacco cannot, and should not, be trusted with the health of Australians.


“PMI’s offer of financial kickbacks shows clear contempt for our profession and our dedication to the health and wellbeing of our communities. It’s galling PMI are promoting these products while they remain unregulated and unregistered. No nicotine vapes are registered as medicines in Australia.


Nicotine vaping products have not been approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and remain unregulated in Australia, however, patients may access unregistered liquid nicotine products with a prescription from their doctor.


“There are currently no nicotine vaping products registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, and no company should be advertising unregulated products to Australian healthcare professionals.


“Do not confuse a commercially motivated decision from a large multi-national tobacco company as a decision of Australian pharmacists.


“TGA has provided clear advice to pharmacists and the health sector – nicotine vaping does not provide substantial benefits to patients as a smoking cessation tool, and nicotine vaping products are not a first-line option for smoking cessation.


“PSA provides support and professional practice guidelines for Australian pharmacists to provide smoking cessation support.  


“It is not the role of health professionals, including pharmacists, to recommend unregulated therapeutic goods to patients, and PSA calls on any healthcare organisations that have financial agreements with Big Tobacco to terminate these agreements immediately.


To access the Guidelines for Pharmacists Providing Smoking Cessation Support, please visit this link. Further information is also available on the TGA website.


Media contact: Georgia Clarke   M: 0410 505 315     E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au