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Doctors who prescribe nicotine. We need YOU!

Posted on April 15, 2019


Do you know of any doctors who write nicotine prescriptions for vaping? Please send us their details.

ATHRA gets many requests from smokers who want to switch to vaping legally but are unable to get a nicotine prescription. We are preparing a list of Aussie doctors who support vaping and can provide a prescription when clinically appropriate.

Why won’t Aussie doctors prescribe nicotine?

Doctors are trained in traditional quitting strategies, such as the use of medications and counselling. However, very few are informed about vaping and other tobacco harm reduction methods.

Doctors get most of their information about vaping from media stories, typically featuring sensational headlines and misleading information. A balanced view is rarely presented.

Furthermore, in spite of the convincing evidence, vaping it is not supported by most Australian health organisations and medical associations. In fact, Australia is the only western democracy NOT to endorse vaping! This undermines the doctor's confidence in vaping.

Smokers who can't quit are faced with a choice between a 2 in 3 chance of dying from smoking or switching to a far less harmful alternative, which is illegal without a nicotine prescription.

Is it legal to vape?

Under the TGA Personal Importation Scheme it is legal to import and use nicotine liquid for your personal use in Australia if:

  • You have a nicotine prescription from a registered Australian medical practitioner
  • You are trying to quit smoking, reduce smoking or prevent relapse and is authorised

It is an offence to sell nicotine liquid in Australia so most users import nicotine from international websites.

It is legal to prescribe nicotine?

It is completely legal for doctors to issue nicotine prescriptions where clinically appropriate, for example for smokers who have been unable to quit with conventional therapies and want to switch to a far less harmful nicotine product.

As for all other medical treatments, the doctor needs to provide ‘good medical practice’ in line with the Medical Board of Australia’s Code of Conduct. Generally, this requires safe and effective practice making the patient’s needs the first priority. Ideally this involves a face-to-face consultation, taking a history and discussing all the available treatment options, including their potential benefits and harms.

Ethical responsibility

Under the AMA Code of Ethics, doctors have an ethical responsibility to consider the needs of their patients first and to provide the best possible care for patients at each encounter.

If a smoker can’t quit, doctors should inform them of all treatment options, including tobacco harm reduction with vaping, which can be lifesaving.

Withholding a legitimate treatment option that could prevent a life-threatening illness is a breach of their obligations.

How do you write a nicotine prescription?

Doctors have NOT been trained in how to prescribe nicotine. However, ATHRA has prepared a handout for doctors on how to write a prescription when appropriate.

Further information is provided for doctors on the ATHRA website here. Doctors need to log in by providing their medical details and all will be revealed!

  • How to write a nicotine prescription
  • A counselling guide for use with patients
  • Link to an online training resource
  • More detailed scientific information
  • Further resources, including practical peer-reviewed publications on vaping for health professionals

Doctors are also welcome to contact ATHRA for further information or clarification by email or phone, 0411 130 372.

Please send us the contact details for any doctor who could help, and we will contact them about including them on the list.

  • Doctor name
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Street address

Posted by Colin Mendelsohn, colin@athra.org.au


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50 Replies to “Doctors who prescribe nicotine. We need YOU!”

Michael

Hi There,

Would you happen to know any Doctors who prescribe nicotine (E cigarette) for quitting smoking please?

Michael

In Sydney please

Aaron Lesar

My dr recommended I use vaping nicotine to quit smoking. He claims I don't need a prescription and refuses to provide one.

Colin

HI Aaron, your doctor is not right. Suggest you read the section on vaping and the law here: https://athra.org.au/vaping/the-law/. ATHRA can send your doctor more information and clear instructions on how to write a nicotine prescription if he is willing to help. It is completely legal for him to do so.

Yvette

Hi, thanks for your great work!!
the link to AMA Code of Ethics doesn’t work.
Many thanks,
Yvette

Colin

Thanks Yvette. We have updated the link.

James P

Thank you for the info. Many vapers have successfully used vaping to quit smoking already, and the continual use of the product maintains that status. The legal situation leaves them in the lurch unless the doctor is prepared to continue prescribing on that basis.

Andy

No doctor prescribes nicotine for vaping, and it's not on the pbs

Colin

Hi Andy, there are a small number of GPs who prescribe nicotine. Email us to find out if there is one in your area. We have a handout for GPs on how to prescribe, which we can forward to your GP if he/she is interested.
Nicotine is not on the PBS but is available as a private prescription. As you know, it can then be imported.

Kangaruan

Is anyone aware of a GP in Perth who prescribes nicotine?

Thanks,

Ruan

Colin

Hi Ruan,
Dr Joe Kosterich is a GP in Perth. He is the chairman of ATHRA and would be happy to discuss this with you.
Surgery: 1/926 Whitfords Avenue Woodvale, Perth
Ring for an appointment: (08) 9409-0333

Marie barr

I am in Sydney can you please forward the info for me to give my doctor and can you advise any doctors in Sydney who give prescriptions for nicotine please

gail harwas

IS there any gps in adelaide ?? i havent had a cigarette in 4 years but if u stop me vaping i know ill be forced to resume

Colin

Australian GPs who can help are available here
https://www.athra.org.au/doctors/
Most do telehealth so can be seen from anywhere in Australia

Lucy

Do you know of any GPs in Adelaide who will provide a script for liquid?

Colin

Hi Lucy, Unfortunately not. Does anyone else know one? If you send us your GP’s email address, we can forward information, such as a how to prescribe nicotine handout, articles on vaping and the new advice from the GP College which now supports vaping for smokers who have tried to quit with other methods. It is legal for the GPS to prescribe and is easy to do once they know how. Email colin@athra.org.au

Louise

Hi
Do you know of any Gps in Brisbane who will give a nicotine vape script?
Kind regards

Colin

Hi Louise, There is a doctor at Southport who can help.
Dr John Miller
Ring (07) 5557 7888 for an appointment
https://eastbrookemedical.com.au/medical-centre/southport/
Shop 2, 45 – 49 Nind Street,
Southport, QLD 4215

Greg wilcox

Does anyone know of a dr in Canberra who is willing to prescribe nicotene as I have been to 4 doctors none of which are willing to help me

Colin

Hi Greg, Unfortunately there are no doctors who prescribe nicotine in Canberra that we know of. The Royal Australian College of GPs has recently approved vaping so more doctors will be willing to get involved. ATHRA can send your doctor more information and clear instructions on how to write a nicotine prescription if he is willing to help. Send us the name and email address.

Troy P

Hi,
I spoke to my GP about nicotine prescriptions today. He agreed it was a suitable option for me, and we chatted about how it works with importing laws and so on….. He was unable to figure out how to actually write the prescription and said he'll talk to his practice supervisors and try and figure it out… come back in a few days. I will pass this sites information on should he fail.
I am positive together we can sort it out. But should i fall short are you able to assist in providing me with the details of a known GP in the Ipswich QLD area or surrounds please. Appreciated.

Colin

Hi Troy,
We don't know anyone in Ipswich who can help. However, if you send us your doctor's name and practice email address, we can send simple instructions on how to write a nicotine prescription. It simply consists of 1) nicotine concentration 2) volume needed for a 3 months supply, with 3 repeats. Send the details to colin@athra.org.au

Troy P

Thank you Colin for your reply. I will follow up on your advice and send through that information for you to contact my doctor at his practice. Very much appreciated.

Manda

Hi there
Are there any doctors on the Sunshine Coast Qld that prescribe? If not how successful has it been approaching your own GP for a script? And if I do approach my GP how involved is the process? Will it happen within one normal consultation? Does it require multiple consultations? Will my Dr have to do significant paperwork and take an extended amount of time to complete the process. 🤞🏻Fingers crossed it’s wick and painless. Thanks so much for this info, invaluable 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Colin

HI Amanda,
On Tuesday 28 April, we will be publishing a list of doctors nationwide who are willing to prescribe nicotine for vaping where appropriate. Many can provide the service by phone or video consultation.
Your closest is a GP on the Gold Coast.
The process is quick and simple but you need to provide information about your medical and smoking history to ensure it is suitable for you.
Check our blog on Tuesday

Colin

By the way, if you want to ask your doctor for the prescription (which is always preferred), we can provide detailed instruction on how to write a nicotine prescription and other supporting information.
It is legal for doctors to write scripts for smokers who want to quit and the role of vaping is acknowledged by the College of GPs.
If you give us your doctor's email address, we can forward information to them.

Sandra

Hi, Do you know of any doctors in Melbourne that prescribe nicotine e-liquid please?

Colin

Dr Carolyn Beaumont
Mentone General Practice
66 Balcombe Rd, Mentone VIC 3194

Online booking: https://mentonegeneralpractice.com.au/timetable/
Book 30 minute appointment. Further appointments 15 minutes

Tel: (03) 9583 6996
All patients bulk-billed

Sandra

Thank you so much Colin, I will give her a go.

Damien

Well 1st of July is nearly here. The minister for health is banning nicotine eliquid importation yet continues to allow cigarettes to be sold. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Does anyone have a list of knowledgeable doctors who will supply nicotine prescriptions in Victoria please?

Damien

Also once a prescription is given how then do you obtain the eliquid?

Jeff

Correct me if I`m wrong but it appears that if you have a scribt you can bring it back with you when you return from overseas. That is my interpretation of the new law anyway.

Jeff

"If you travel to Australia by aircraft or ship you may bring in e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine if it is for your medical treatment and its use and supply is under doctor's prescription. You will need to have a copy of the prescription with you."

Brendon

Hi does anyone know any doctors in Sydney who will give me a prescription ?

Colin

Doctors who will write prescriptions are available here: https://www.athra.org.au/doctors/ Most use telehealth so can see help you via phone or video consultation

Dallas Belz

Could you please send me a list of any doctor/s who prescribed the use of nicotine in the Launceston area?

Colin

See www.athra.org.au/doctors. Most can help by phone or video call

Michelle Wilson

Hey,
I'm after a doctor in Adelaide preferably north Adelaide to write a prescription for nicotine

Thankyou
Michelle Wilson

Colin

Hi MIchelle, There is a list of doctors who can help here: www.athra.org.au/doctors

Vincent

In Cairns Queensland please

Colin

Hi Michelle, go to www.athra.org.au/doctors

Jason

Hi I need some help to find a doctor near or approximate to strathpine qld that prescribes e cigarette nicotine do u know of any

Colin

Please go to www.athra.org.au/doctors for a list of GPs who can help. MOst will do consults by phone or video call

Maria K.

If you do receive any information about GPs that will provide a prescription for nicotine, can you please let me know so I can try & get one?
Kindest regards,
Maria K.

Colin

Go to www.athra.org.au/doctors for a list

Elizabeth Little

Are there any drs in mudgee who can supply a script for e cigarette please

Elizabeth Little

Mudgee nsw 2580 is there a dr there the can write a script for e ciaretts

Darren

Yeah my gp fogged me off when asking the doctor prescriptions for nicotine who has the same qualifications to write oneand dispense a prescriptions as like a handfull of some online vape doctors do and will do prescriptions here as i mannaged to obtain one awhile ago i got told by my usaul gp he wasnt qualified to write a prescription for nicotine and no real reason why a refusal ..but Seen another doctor at same clinic the doctor there never heard of the new vape prescriptions either but filled out a inhaler when i can get at supermarket anyhow without a script ,i didnt want the inhaler as i took it as being fogged off again and shafted as ive tryied everything anyhow when the new next year lesgislation comes my usual gp probly will avoid me again for not providing a vape script in the first place and probly will be covering up his lies and to justify his lies with b.s reasons to not prescribe me .probly i will never quit vaping either extra consultations follow up are probly useless in not wanting to quit vaping ir reduce i never took it up vaping to quit originally but has helpted alot to abstain from cigarettes alot which is sort of quiting ..anyhow follow ups and possable a online $200 plus gp fee 3times a year video consultations a year are a waiste of my time and counceling is crap when you do it alone anyway i cant deal with counceling with fake info provided to councilers by the media and dumb fake tga its a burden on my finances when fees are not $79 i find it difficult to do online pre consultation the forms ar not easy formatted on my phone i find it difficult to set up vidieo links then if i am requested to show customs a prescription proof legally i probly coundnt on international mailing then i loose my order and i stuff courts around because i am phone pc illiterate to do so show proof. i got no friggin idea how to do online form filling it never works properly on my phone and my helpers have no ideas either in how to submit online form filling when requested if required its total b.s greg hunt and tga have no ideas of complexitys i could avoid all this doctor scripts with a 5 to ten year prescription or an indefinate non expiry script if was possable from a free local gp in quantity thats more than were alowed in 3 monthly the quanitys of nicotine amounts 150 mills of nicotine is not much i want try nic salts i not familiar if can order samples of nic salts if i only alowed freebase nicotine ifu change mind in nicotine types after prescription orders you may have to consult online gp again anyhow becomes more expensive we shouldnt need to be to be legally made to frigg around to a gp i have no kids and owning nicotine is more b.s than owning a gun its becoming rediculous next we need a licence to obtain a steak knife and locker lol

Sadeq

Dear people,
My GP is a wonderful one, but she thinks that vaping is not a scientifically preferable way of quitting smoking. That, the unknown dangers of vaping might outweigh the apparent usefulness of it. I have talked to her about it, but she is very pessimistic.
I switched to vaping a month ago. Other than the fact that I have recently started experiencing an unpleasant itchy feeling in my lungs when I vape, it has a very smooth ride. Today, for the first time, I felt a wheezing when I was exercising. Breathing was hard and I felt that my lungs were struggling miserably. I was a smoker for 14 years and I have been regularly exercising for a year now, but I had never experienced this way before. This has got me worried. I need a doctor who would be able to give me advice and help me get through this. My plan is to quit nicotine completely. I started with 6/50 nicotine/base and I have brought it down to 4/50 now. I plan to quit by the end of 6 months from the day I switched. I also plan to start taking Zyban (a tablet) when I switch to 0.5/50. I need to make sure that I will get through my 6-months schedule without any serious disease. Please, tell me if you know a doctor that can help. I would prefer a bulk-billing doctor.

Sadeq

I forgot to say that I live in Brisbane.

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