Vaping ads update

The TGA has published a new permission around how pharmacies can promote products for use in e-cigarettes, or vaping

On Tuesday, Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, Deputy Secretary Health Products Regulation Group at the Department of Health, announced the new permission, which sets out the permitted uses of restricted representations regarding the products.

The revised TGA advertising permission allowing pharmacies and pharmacy marketing to groups to promote, through certain media, that they are able to dispense nicotine vaping products (such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine) on prescription.

The revised advertising permission replaces the permission published in July 2021 to provide greater clarity for pharmacies and pharmacy groups on what is allowed, while not acting as a “push” for people who have never used e-cigarettes, particularly young people.

In particular, the revised advertising permission:

  • Sets out the three different statements that pharmacies and pharmacy marketing groups can use to tell consumers that they are able to dispense nicotine on prescription (with the option to replace the word ‘nicotine’ with one or more of ‘nicotine e-cigarettes’, ‘nicotine pods’ and ‘liquid nicotine’)
  • Limits the advertisements to being text only and published in no more than three colours or shades and limits the size and location of posters, the number of advertisements on websites and in print media, and the size of advertisements in print media
  • Notes that the evidence relating to efficacy of nicotine vaping products for smoking cessation is mixed.

The revised advertising permission also retains other restrictions that were included in the permission published in July 2021, particularly the prohibitions on referring to product brands and flavours, on using images of the products and on the use of radio, television, social media influencers and brand ambassadors, paid promotions on social media, billboards and/or cinema advertising.

Updated guidance on the revised advertising permission will be published in the next week.

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