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Melbourne based pharmacist fined $7,992 for the alleged unlawful advertising of nicotine vaping products

7 March 2022

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued three infringement notices totalling $7,992 to a Melbourne-based pharmacist for alleged advertising breaches relating to nicotine vaping products.

It is alleged the pharmacist was responsible for unlawfully advertising nicotine vaping products on the pharmacy website and related social media accounts. Under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, nicotine vaping products are Schedule 4 prescription only medicines in the Poisons Standard) and cannot be advertised to the Australian public, otherwise than in accordance with the relevant Advertising Permission. The alleged unlawful advertising was not consistent with the conditions in the permission, namely that the advertising must only refer to a service and not advertising of the products themselves. In particular, the advertising contained pictures and the trade names of the goods.

Those engaging in, or intending to engage in, a business which involves health products or the provision of health services should be aware of the regulatory requirements for therapeutic goods, including the types of conduct that are prohibited. Further information on the advertising of nicotine vaping products specific to pharmacists can be found on the TGA website.

The TGA considers advertising breaches relating to nicotine vaping products a serious matter and is taking prompt and appropriate action to ensure compliance with the law. Other nicotine vaping product related enforcement actions include:

An infringement notice is an alternative to commencing court proceedings, see Information about infringement notices for more information.

The TGA encourages the reporting of suspected non-compliant advertising to the TGA.