Australia has led the world in the control of e-cigarette nicotine vaping products by introducing restricted access measures through prescription. Since Oct 1, 2021, VapingScripts.com.au has helped thousands of smokers quit as well as enabled existing vapers who are part way through their smoking cessation journey, to prevent relapse back to cigarettes. Our nicotine online prescription services are unrivalled in Australia as we have the largest clinical panel of Authorised Prescribers according to the TGA and we operate a 24/7 model.
Since 2016, the FDA has had authority over vapour products in the United States, but it has declined to adopt a uniform system of rules for e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Some states in the United States have enacted flavoured products and internet sales prohibitions in recent years. These measures are flawed for a number of reasons including teenagers using their parents’ ID and importing from other countries as there are no border checks on vaping products coming into the country.
Canada has recently imposed nicotine-strength limits and severe flavour restrictions.
More than 40 countries have some form of vaping restriction, ranging from possession and use to sales and importation, or a combination of the three.
In the UK, under unprecedented plans by ministers to reduce smoking rates in England, nicotine online prescription will be introduced to the NHS to assist smokers to quit.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued new guidance that allows medicinally regulated e-cigarette products to be prescribed to tobacco users who want to quit smoking and switch to vaping.
Every year, over 64,000 individuals die as a result of smoking. E-cigarettes are believed to be used by 3.6 million adults in the United Kingdom, or 7% of the population.
Doctors, medical professionals, and health activists applauded the decision. Sir Norman Lamb, the former health minister who oversaw the Commons science and technology committee’s probe into e-cigarettes in 2018, stated, “I am certain this will be a gamechanger.” His group found that having medicinally licenced e-cigarettes that could be prescribed would be “very beneficial,” he stated.
The announcement was welcomed as “fantastic” by Prof Linda Bauld, who holds the Bruce and John Usher chair in public health at the University of Edinburgh. “While there is strong evidence that e-cigarettes offered as consumer products can assist smokers in quitting,” she added, “we also know that up to one in three smokers in the UK are using them.”
Nicotine online prescription is a novel concept to consumers and there are some safety concerns about vaping in the cigarette smoking community. The idea of having certified devices that can be prescribed would comfort smokers about relative hazards while also helping to reach individuals who cannot afford e-cigarettes.”
Nicotine is present in e-cigarettes, thus they are not risk-free. The NHS claims that “the liquid and vapour include several potentially dangerous compounds likewise seen in cigarette smoke,” however these chemicals are present in considerably lower concentrations in e-cigarettes.
Public health professionals have also expressed concerns about young individuals, particularly those who have never smoked, becoming addicted to vaping. Tobacco corporations have taken up the task of developing a range of e-cigarette nicotine products.
Expert reviews, on the other hand, have found that regulated e-cigarettes are less dangerous than smoking. The Department of Health and Social Care stated that a medicinally licenced e-cigarette would have to pass even more stringent safety assessments.
Meanwhile back in Australia, some groups flouting the laws implemented by the TGA. Four people and organisations were fined more than $170,000 by Australia’s pharmaceuticals authority for illegally advertising or importing vaping items, with one company receiving more than $100,000 in violation warnings.
In October, new rules went into effect prohibiting the purchase of nicotine-containing vaping goods without a prescription. Doctors are only allowed to prescribe them as a last option if other, more proven methods of quitting have failed. Concerns about the health effects of vaping, as well as evidence suggesting that children are increasingly using the products, drove the modifications in the law.
Since the new rules went into effect, websites have surfaced offering to connect vapers with a doctor for a nicotine online prescription. However, the new legislation only permits pharmacies and pharmacy-marketing associations to promote in a restricted capacity. Non-pharmacy websites that promote vaping items or connect to online vendors are likely to be in violation of the nicotine advertising restrictions.