The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia rejected an application from Philip Morris (PM) that would have allowed the sale of heated-tobacco products.
This follows the Australian government’s ban on the import of nicotine-based e-cigarettes. Health Minister Greg Hunt planned to implement the ban beginning July 1 of this year, but the ban has now been pushed back to the beginning of 2021 to allow those who have been using e-cigarettes with nicotine to quit smoking combustibles to get prescriptions and end their addiction.
The ban would make the import of vaporizer nicotine and e-cigarettes allowable only with a doctor’s prescription.
There were 82 submissions in the TGA decision that supported heated-tobacco products, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded that PM’s tobacco-heating product “is expected to benefit the health of the population as a whole.” The TGA received submissions from the Lung Foundation, Cancer Council Australia, Australian Council on Health and Smoking, and the National Heart Foundation, though, that stated their concerns regarding public health risks of heated-tobacco products. The TGA ultimately decided there were “significant safety concerns with heated-tobacco products,” according to news.com.au.
“Study after study shows that scientifically substantiated smoke-free products that do not generate smoke, while not risk-free, are a much better alternative for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes,” said Tammy Chan, Philip Morris managing director. “It’s time Australian authorities recognize that many adult smokers will continue to smoke cigarettes—the most harmful way of consuming nicotine—unless the government rethinks its tobacco control policy. Smoke-free products can play a role in reducing smoking rates.”
According to Chan, Australia’s stance on smoke-free products is at odds with other countries; heated-tobacco products are available in 50 other countries.