Therapeutic Goods Association fails Australia’s smokers and ignores the science
The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association expressed its extreme disappointment in an interim decision made today by the TGA rejecting an application for heated tobacco products to be made available for Australia smokers.
Founding Chairman, Conjoint Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn said the TGA has ignored the scientific literature which shows that heated tobacco products (HTPs) are significantly safer than combustible cigarettes.
Professor Mendelsohn said HTPs are a reduced-risk alternative to smoking for adult smokers who can’t quit. As there is no combustion most of the harmful chemicals in smoke are absent.
“These products have helped millions of smokers quit smoking overseas and are sold in over 50 countries, including New Zealand, the UK, US and EU”, said Professor Mendelsohn.
“The TGA claim that HTPs contain toxic compounds that can “potentially produce pathophysiological changes in human tissues comparable to those produced by cigarette smoke" is patently absurd. The levels of toxins in HTP vapour are significantly lower than in smoke and are substantially less harmful.
“The compelling scientific evidence that HTPs are substantially safer than smoking has convinced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the TGA remains with its head in the sand.
“Tobacco Harm Reduction aims to reduce the health risks in continuing smokers by switching from combustible tobacco to a lower-risk smokeless alternative. This is exactly what HTPs do.
“It is absurd that Australian law specifically allows combustible tobacco to be sold, but will not allow a much safer alternative which will save lives.
“This report calls the scientific credibility of the TGA into question.”