Vaping laws come into effect next month

23 Sep 2021

From 1 October, all nicotine vaping products (NVPs) will be available only by prescription.

The regulation changes will mean children and adults will have less ready access to harmful NVPs. Doctors, mainly GPs, may be faced with an influx of patients seeking a prescription for NVPs, and it is important to prepare for this.  

A webinar to discuss clinical guidelines for NVPs will be held between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, 5 October. It’s been organised by the RACGP and Quitline and will describe the process for prescribing NVPs for smoking cessation; summarise the key aspects of initiation of NVPs for smoking cessation and outline clinical considerations regarding the use of NVPs for smoking cessation. It will be a CPD activity under the RACGP program. Register at: https://kapara.rdbk.com.au/landers/c40e4f.html 

The AMA encourages GPs not to feel pressured into prescribing NVPs, and to follow the clinical guidelines, which state that they should only be used as a last resort. There is limited efficacy evidence for using NVPs as a nicotine cessation tool. Vaping is not a risk-free version of smoking. It is addictive, associated with proven harms and if liquid nicotine gets into the hands of young children and is ingested, it is highly toxic and can be fatal in very small amounts. Patients will need to recognise this policy change is designed to cut the harmful level of vaping in the community and their GPs will be working to help them stop using nicotine all together, using best practice guidelines and the latest available evidence.  

The clinical guidelines regarding the new regulations will be made available soon.