Slam plan to sell vapes at pharmacies

VAPES will be sold only through pharmacies, with people under 18 banned from buying them unless they have a prescription, in a move that has been slammed by healthcare professionals including TerryWhite Chemmart Guildford pharmacist Nermine.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia wants prescriptions to remain in place, arguing pharmacists were healthcare professionals who dispensed medication that had a proven therapeutic benefit.
“Vaping has long-term patient harms, including cancer, lung-scarring and nicotine addiction,” a guild spokesperson said.
Nermine agrees, saying pharmacies providing vapes is not going to help the patient and that ‘black market’ vapes will still exist.
“We specialise in helping patients quit nicotine through patches, gum and other treatments and now they want us to do the opposite,” she said.
“There is no evidence that vaping helps you quit nicotine so how is this going to help people?”
National Vice President of the Guild Anthony Tassone said the amendments compromised community health.
“Pharmacists are healthcare professionals and community pharmacies do not want to supply this potentially harmful, highly addictive product without a prescription,” he said.
Vaping products have not been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and no nicotine-containing vape is listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
“When we don’t know the long-term effects of vapes on patient safety, how can a pharmacist make an informed decision,” Mr Tassone said.
“We are deeply disappointed that public policy has been developed in a vacuum without consultation prior to these amendments being passed.”
Changes to the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 will come into effect as early as October this year.