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Training now available for Australian GPs on vaping and nicotine prescribing

Posted on August 1, 2020


TRAINING FOR GPs on how to help smoking patients quit by vaping nicotine is now available online from HealthEd, Australia's leading GP education and training organisation.

The online podcast available here, by ATHRA Director Dr Colin Mendelsohn provides GPs with guidelines on how vaping works and the evidence on safety, effectiveness and legal issues. There is also practical advice on

  • When to use vaping in general practice
  • How to select devices and liquids
  • How to counsel smokers about vaping
  • How to prescribe nicotine for vaping
  • Where to purchase devices and nicotine liquids

The podcast earns GPs CPD points (required for registration) and is accompanied by resources for GPs, including a detailed guide on how to prescribe nicotine and a general guide to vaping for GPs.

HealthEd will be releasing the webcast for this presentation later in the year, which will include slides and the speaker presentation.

If your GP would like to know more about vaping, please forward this link to the podcast

GPs who would like to prescribe nicotine for vapers can also be included in the list of GPs who provide this service on the ATHRA website here.

Support from GPs

The support of GPs is essential to enable legal access to vaping. Under Australian law, vapers need a nicotine prescription from a registered doctor to possess and use nicotine.

According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners vaping is a legitimate second-line treatment option for quitting:

“for people who have tried to achieve smoking cessation with approved pharmacotherapies but failed, but who are still motivated to quit smoking and have brought up e-cigarette usage with their healthcare practitioner, nicotine containing e-cigarettes may be a reasonable intervention to recommend”

The 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found that there were 522,000 current vapers in Australia. Vaping is the most frequently used quitting aid in Australia and in other countries where it is available.

It is good to see GPs becoming involved in supporting vaping, which is the most effective quitting aid available to their smoking patients.


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