TGA Endorses Vape Ads For Pharmacies, But Only For Prescription Purposes

TGA Endorses Vape Ads For Pharmacies, But Only For Prescription Purposes
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



The Therapeuric Goods Administration (TGA) has announced they will allow pahrmacies to advertise e-cigarettes (aka vapes) and liquid nicotine in specific ciscumstances.

In a statement, the TGA said that “generally, it is not lawful to advertise prescription medicines. However, the TGA has granted a legal permission which allows pharmacies and a pharmacy marketing groups to advertise (i.e. promote), through certain media, where to obtain nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine with a prescription.”

Vapes are occasionally prescribed to smokers as a method of quitting as they don’t contain tar, only nicotine.

However, it is illegal in NSW to advertise, display or promote e-cigarettes, and it is also illegal to sell vapes with health claims like “this helps smokers quit.”

Traditionally, vapes have been marketed as both healthier and safer than smoking, though this is not strictly the case: vapes often contain unknown chemicals to create the nicotine vapour, have similarly addictive properties and can impact your heart and lungs.

The new TGA guidelines outline that pharmacies can assist the public with information such as where prescriber customers can obtain nicotine products, the types of products and concentrations available, and where the products are available on prescription.

However, they cannot promote nicotine products on radio or TV, on websites not under the direct control of the pharmacy or have ads with pictures of vapes or iquid nictonine.

One of the appeals of vaping for many is the variety of flavours they come in. The TGA has explicitly stated that promotions can’t contain a reference to flavours, or to vape brand names.

Interestingly, it has also taken a firm stance against any influencer promotion of vaping. In the guidelines, it is explicitly stated that vapes can’t be promoted by brand ambassadors or influencers, or be sold through paid social media promotions.

Essentially, the TGA is allowing for factual, context-based information about vapes, rather than promotion of them.

They said, “as a general guideline, if the content persuades consumers, for example through the use of promotional terms or language, to seek out nicotine e-cigarettes, then it would be considered advertising”.




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