The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging GPs to be prepared for changes to vaping laws coming into effect on 1 October.
Under the changes nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine, will be available only by prescription as a smoking cessation tool. People will no longer be able to buy these products or import them from overseas websites without a valid prescription.
GPs can prescribe nicotine vaping products by becoming an Authorised Prescriber (only takes a few minutes and is free), through the Special Access Scheme or providing a prescription for three months’ supply via the Personal Importation Scheme.
The RACGP has produced evidence-based guidance for health professionals to support smoking cessation. The guidance covers the evidence on effectiveness of nicotine vaping products for supporting smoking cessation, their place in therapy and the practicalities of prescribing them. In the absence of an evidence base for how to prescribe these products for therapeutic use, practice points have been developed to minimise risk to prescribers and patients, including:
· nicotine vaping products are currently not approved therapeutic products, and it is valid and reasonable for medical practitioners to opt not to prescribe them
· if prescribing, use the Authorised Prescriber or Special Access Scheme prescribing pathways instead of the Personal Importation Scheme to minimise the risk of the patient receiving imported products that do not meet the