Heated tobacco products can still not be sold in Australia, but the interim decision has sparked debate among medical bodies.
Heated tobacco products can still not be sold in Australia, but the interim decision has sparked debate among medical bodies.

Sale of heated tobacco products blocked

THE sale of heated tobacco products in Australia has been blocked by an interim decision from the Scheduling Committee of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) today.

The ban on the cigarette substitutes, has created much debate with medical bodies speaking out against heated tobacco products.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners chief told The Courier-Mail today that he is pleased with the TGA decision.

"We can see a place for nicotine products for vaping but not tobacco products. Our guidelines say that if you are a smoker and have tried everything possible to stop then a nicotine-based replacement is a last resort," Dr Harry Nespolon said.

Philip Morris Limited (PML), a company "that is working towards a future where adults have access to smoke free alternatives" made an application to the TGA based on "extensive scientific evidence which shows that heated tobacco products, while not risk-free, produce fewer and lower levels of toxic chemicals than cigarettes".

Dr Harry Nespolon, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said they can see a place for nicotine products for vaping but not tobacco products. Picture: Supplied
Dr Harry Nespolon, President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said they can see a place for nicotine products for vaping but not tobacco products. Picture: Supplied

PML Managing Director Tammy Chan said there are close to three million adult smokers in Australia and the best thing they can do is quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether.

"However, providing adult smokers in Australia with two options - to quit tobacco and nicotine altogether or continue smoking - has had very little, if any, impact on the smoking rate over the past six years. It's time for Australian health authorities to consider the positive contribution to public health that science based better alternatives could deliver and have delivered in other parts of the world, when combined with regulations that prevent initiation and encourage cessation," he said.

"Regulators need to recognise that many adult smokers will continue to smoke cigarettes - one of the most harmful ways to consume nicotine - and carefully consider whether those people should then have the right to choose a better alternative.

The TGA's final decision will be made in August.

"If the interim decision is confirmed, Australia will continue to lag behind more than 50 other countries around the world that have made heated tobacco products available to adult smokers," Mr Chan said.

Originally published as Sale of heated tobacco products blocked


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