The head of the Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has acknowledged shortcomings in the country’s vaping regulations, according to tobacco harm reduction activist Colin Mendelsohn.
Writing on his website, Mendelsohn says TGA boss John Skerrit “has finally admitted the disastrous and predictable failure of Australia’s vaping regulations,” which among other things require vapers to obtain a doctor’s prescription to buy nicotine-containing e-cigarettes
During questioning in Australia’s Senate, Skerrit acknowledged not only that there has been a dramatic increase in youth vaping, but also that large numbers of low-quality products are entering the country and are being sold on the black market, according to Mendelsohn.
In addition, Skerrit noted that only 1,353 out of 130,000 registered doctors have applied to be authorized e-cigarette prescribers and less than 10 percent of adult vapers have a prescription for nicotine.
According to Mendelsohn, Skerritt had previously promised a review of the regulations, which were introduced on Oct. 1, 2021, at three, six and 12 months. Instead, he wrote, the TGA and government had a secret meeting of unnamed vaping experts.
Mendelsohn said it is likely that further restrictions and enforcement will be recommended by “the experts” to double down on their de facto prohibition. “This will only lead to greatly reduced legal vaping and more deaths from smoking,” he wrote.