PSA position on proposed vaping reforms

25 June 2024


Based on current information, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is not supportive of proposed amendments to the Therapeutic Goods and other Legislation (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 which are before Parliament this week.

If the proposed amendment to downschedule nicotine vaping products becomes part of the final legislation, there would not be an adequate transition of nicotine-vaping being a retail product to it becoming a health-care professional prescribed tool to support smoking cessation.

Quotes attributable to PSA National President Associate Professor Fei Sim:

“Vaping is a public health crisis; It has unique harms which are different from tobacco smoking, and we share the government’s concerns that another generation is becoming dependent on nicotine.

“Doing nothing is not an option – and therefore, we continue to support the government’s intent as outlined in the original vaping reform legislation.

“Further, PSA continues to strongly support the government’s intent to limit the supply of vaping and removing vapes from retail settings.

“However, the amendment proposed undermines the role of pharmacists as health care professionals.

“The amendment – if it was to pass the Senate in its current form – asks pharmacists to prescribe unapproved, unregulated, untested vaping products to the public.

“This would not represent a health model. Pharmacist Only Medicines are pharmacist-prescribed medicines, which include a consultation with patients to establish therapeutic need. Not having patient information recorded in the prescribing of nicotine-containing vapes is inconsistent with the normal provision of health care.

“We cannot and do not support positioning pharmacists as retailers rather than health professionals.

“Pharmacists can and should be involved in harm minimisation and nicotine dependence management, but in the absence of a TGA-approved product, effective clinical governance framework and evidence-based clinical guidelines supporting their use, we cannot embed a therapeutic model of prescribing vapes.

“PSA’s role is to support pharmacists to practise and perform their clinical tasks professionally and ethically. PSA will, in good faith, continue to have constructive discussions with stakeholders on this important public health issue.

“PSA maintains support for the original intent of the Bill, to limit the supply of therapeutic vapes through prescription only and taking them out of the hands of children.”

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au