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E-Cigarette Prescriptions Are Rising

Doctor Writing Prescription

Prescriptions for e-cigarettes are on the rise in Australia after the federal government moved to require prescriptions for nicotine vaping products. The new prescription-only model for nicotine vapes, which is now in place, requires nicotine vapers in the country to hold a valid prescription issued by a licensed doctor in order to purchase any nicotine-containing vaping products.

More Doctors Authorised To Prescribe Nicotine Vapes

Not only are the number of prescriptions on the rise, but so are the number of GPs who have taken the steps necessary in order to become authorised prescribers of nicotine vaping products. The number of GPs who are now approved to prescribe nicotine has risen from 27 in July 2021 to 618 in January 2022, according to data from the Department of Health.

Despite the existence of the authorised prescriber distinction for nicotine vaping products, any licensed GP has the ability to prescribe nicotine vaping products. By the end of January 2022, more than 1,100 providers had used temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule items for nicotine and smoking cessation counselling.

Prescriptions Are Still Required

Today, the prescription-only model that was enacted on October 1 2021 remains in place. As a result, vapers who order vaping supplies online from overseas suppliers must have a valid prescription, as required by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). You can learn more about nicotine prescriptions here.

Why Some Doctors Are Prescribing E-Cigarettes

With nicotine prescriptions now required to purchase and use nicotine vaping products, some licensed GPs are now prescribing e-cigarettes to their patients in order to assist with smoking cessation.

Studies have shown e-cigarettes to be more effective in helping smokers quit tobacco than traditional nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches. After comparing the effectiveness of e-cigs and traditional nicotine replacement therapies, Dr Gary Chan with the University of Queensland said that nicotine vaping products "have the potential to accelerate the decline of cigarette smoking."

"E-cigarettes have the potential to accelerate the decline of cigarette smoking."

Research suggests that smokers who switch from smoking to vaping are likely to experience substantial health benefits from making the switch.

How E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit

Electronic cigarettes differ from traditional cigarettes in various ways, however, they are capable of delivering nicotine to users via the vapour that they produce. The vapour that e-cigs deliver to users does not contain tar, a chemical substance in cigarette smoke that contains harmful chemicals. The tar in smoke can form a sticky layer inside the lungs of smokers that may lead to serious health ailments.

Not only does e-cigarette vapour not contain tar, but it also does not contain carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide and tar are two of the most damaging elements found in tobacco smoke.

With e-cigarettes, smokers can continue to obtain nicotine while avoiding many downsides that stem from smoking, such as tar. E-cig users also have the option to choose between a wide array of nicotine strengths when buying vape juice, adding a layer of choice that is not available with conventional cigarettes. This allows vapers to choose the strength that is right for them.

Contrary to what some believe, e-cigarettes do not produce smoke. What may look like smoke coming out of a vaping device is actually an aerosol commonly referred to as vapour.

E-cigs, also known as vapes, are "far less harmful than cigarettes and can help you quit smoking for good," according to England's National Health Service (NIS). They work by heating e-liquid that typically contains a mix of flavourings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and nicotine.

16 June 2022