According to foreign reports, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has sent seven infringement notices to Melbourne individuals in charge of vapespot website, with a total amount of US $18648, suspected of violating the 1989 Therapeutic Goods Act (the Act 1989). The alleged violation is related to the advertising of nicotine e-cigarette products.
Vapespot’s website is said to promote nicotine smoke bombs, which contain Schedule 4 prescription drugs included in the current poison standards. Under the act, electronic cigarette products containing nicotine are prescription drugs and cannot be advertised to the Australian public.
TGA provides detailed guidance to individuals on the legal requirements of importers, suppliers and advertisers of nicotine e-cigarette products. Despite the changes made to the website, they failed to fundamentally address TGA’s concerns and seem to be trying to hide the ownership of the website.
TGA attaches great importance to non-compliance with the advertising rules of nicotine e-cigarette products, and will take upgraded compliance actions if individuals and enterprises have received educational materials or been warned about new requirements before.
The rules on the import, manufacture, supply and advertising of nicotine e-cigarette products balance the need to prevent adolescents and young people from smoking nicotine e-cigarettes (and potential smoking), while enabling current smokers to use these products to quit smoking in an appropriate way.
TGA has released comprehensive information on nicotine e-cigarette products.
From October 1, 2021, consumers need a valid prescription from an Australian doctor to legally import nicotine e-cigarette products from online suppliers.
A valid prescription is still required to buy nicotine e-cigarette products from Australian pharmacies.
It is still illegal for other Australian retailers to sell nicotine e-cigarettes to consumers.
TGA has released information for consumers on how to legally obtain nicotine e-cigarette products after consultation and doctor prescription as a treatment to help quit smoking.
TGA is taking prompt and appropriate action to ensure compliance with the law and encourage the reporting of suspicious non-conforming advertisements. If a wider range of therapeutic products are suspected of non-compliance, illegal or problematic practices can be reported online to TGA.