The state government has been called out by the Tasmanian Small Business Council chief executive Robert Mallett, after it was revealed Tasmania is the only national jurisdiction that requires pharmacies to hold a license to stock nicotine vaping products.
Since the implementation of new vaping regulations on October 1, there have been divided opinions on the strong laws.
It is now illegal to buy nicotine vaping products in Australia without a prescription from a GP.Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the government's views are firm.
"More than 550 Tasmanians die of smoking-related illnesses each year and Tasmania retains the second-highest smoking rate in the nation which is why we strictly regulate the sale of tobacco products, including nicotine e-cigarettes," Mr Rockliff said.
Mr Mallett said the government's strong stance was shameful.
"Tasmania has the second-highest smoking rate in the country, and yet the state government has actively decided to make it as hard as possible to access less harmful nicotine vaping products, than the rest of Australia," Mr Mallett said.
"I call on Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff to urgently intervene and overturn this ridiculous licensing requirement, which has so far meant not a single pharmacy in Tasmania stocks the products."
Australian Medical Association Tasmania president Helen McArdle said stricter regulations are needed, as they oppose the use of nicotine vape products.
"We applaud the Tasmanian government for putting the wellbeing of Tasmanians ahead of profits," she said.
"While the new laws are world-leading, the AMA firmly believes they are only a start.
"The AMA believes an independent national safety-monitoring framework must be funded and implemented to monitor the changes' effectiveness and any ongoing residual harms."
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