Pharmacists should be able to dispense nicotine vapes without a prescription. Here’s why

17 April 2024

 and  write for The Conversation.

The Australian government is currently considering a bill to implement the next stage of reforms to vaping regulation.

At present, vaping products that don’t contain nicotine can be sold in regular shops, such as convenience stores, like tobacco products are. To use vaping products that contain nicotine, people must have a prescription from a doctor or a nurse practitioner, and get the prescription filled at a pharmacy.

However, many retailers have sold nicotine-containing vapes illegally by pretending they don’t contain nicotine. Young people have found it easy to obtain them.

The current bill will address this issue by ending the sale of nicotine-free vaping products by general retail stores. But it’s not only teenagers who have accessed nicotine vaping products without a prescription. Most adults who vape, including those who use vaping products to quit smoking, don’t have a prescription either.

In a new paper, we argue allowing pharmacists to dispense nicotine vapes without a prescription would be a practical way to ensure people who are using them to quit smoking can access them, while reducing the chance they’ll fall into young hands.

Read the full article in The Conversation