Following is a copy of the email sent to the Elected Members of the NT to advise them of the recent human rights violation that denies legal access to Nicotine for Vapers in the NT. This email Informs the Elected Members of the Fyles Health Departments enacting of a law that effective immediately makes all those who vape with nicotine a criminal punishable with a hefty fine of $15,500 or 12 months imprisonment.
This change to legislation removes the TGA Personal Importation Scheme as a legal way to import nicotine for vaping. This law was not enacted in a democratic manner, it has had no open public debate, no say from the public, no discussion from your Elected Members. It has not been given the due diligence and consideration that it deserve, as is the process with all new bills introduced to make changes to legislation. No Bills, No Voice from You or your Elected Member, No Votes, No Rights for NT Vapers.
The NT Health department by making nicotine illegal serves only to fuel an unregulated blackmarket for nicotine and deny a legal route for Nicotine as a means to source medication to prevent relapse into smoking. However the Health Department readily allow the availability of cigarettes to fill the void as the fall back source for your nicotine consumption.
Dear Elected Members,
I am writing to you to inform you of a recent action by Natasha Fyles and the Health Department to implement an immediate ban on Nicotine.
Making the use of Nicotine by all persons vaping in the NT illegal effective immediately. Punishable by a fine of up to $15,500 or 12 months in prison.
Vapers have legally been able to import Nicotine under the TGA Personal Importation Scheme as a Schedule 4 prescription only medication. Thousands of Territorians have successfully quit smoking and made the switch to vaping with nicotine. This law essentially pushes them all back to smoking.
The Health Department are citing the following as justification for enacting this legislation that has had no democratic due process. No Bills, No intelligent debate by the Peoples Elected Officials, No voting and No Democratic process to address the human rights of Territorian Vapers.
The basic human right to choose what many health professionals state is a healthier alternative to smoking is being denied to the people. Whilst leaving smoking as the fall back option. Essentially forcing many through intimidation back to smoking or be labelled a criminal and forced to pay hefty fines or be imprisoned.
It is unethical and immoral for the health department to remove the basic human right to choose what many health professionals believe is a healthier alternative whilst allowing the known killer cigarettes to be the fall back option. I am writing to you to ask that you speak for these people to defend their human rights so that they are not discriminated against and their rights to choose a healthier alterative are not legislated out of existence in this un democratic un Australian dictatorship like manner.
I have sought clarification on this matter from the Department of Health and been provided with the following information:
The Solicitor for the Northern Territory has provided advice in this matter.
Point 1, 2 & 3 are the only points to note.
Nicotine Juice is a Schedule 7 substance as listed on the Poisons Standard.https://www.tga.gov.au/publication/poisons-standard-susmp
The NT Poisons Legislation makes no allowance for a Schedule 7 substance to be used as a therapeutic good.
Section 44 prohibits the personal use of Schedule 7 substances.
A medical script issued by a medical practitioner does not constitute a Schedule 7 Authorisation under the NT Poisons Legislation.
Other Information to note.
The Commonwealth Legislation only goes to possession of Nicotine Juice – NT legislation goes to sale and use of Nicotine Juice.
Nicotine Juice is not a banned substance and is therefore allowed to be imported into Australia under Commonwealth law.
The Personal Importation Scheme (PIS) allows you to “legally import nicotine liquids….” (to possess the product)
The TGA web site was recently updated to include a qualifier that jurisdictional legislation may override the PIS
I believe that the legal justification as mentioned above is incorrect due to the following reasons:
- Nicotine importation under the PIS is for an NON -APPROVED THERAPUETIC GOOD and as such with prescription scheduling moves from S7 to S4 in the federal register: Non-approved therapeutic goods are not required to be evaluated or approved by the TGA. It also does not stop the product from being used or classed as one that is used for therapeutic use. It does not remove the product from being able to be imported under the PIS (note the scheme is specifically for Australians to gain access to products that have not been evaluated by the TGA and therefore are not available for supply in Australia..) It does however stop the item from being sold in Australia or marketed as one that is of therapeutic benefit, but it does not stop the item from being a valid item for therapeutic use under the PIS.
- As federal scheduling pushes item to S4, NT legislation must do the same because no legislation has been written to override the federal scheduling or the PIS at this time. Also the NT does not have its own scheduling it refers to the federal register for the Scheduling of Substances. Therefore no legislation has been written to make the product when imported as an S4 illegal in the NT, because you cannot assess a S4 as an S7.
- NT cannot reschedule an item to S7 when it sits as an S4 on the federal scheduling without specific legislation being written to override the PIS and redirect the scheduling to.an S7.
- There has been no specific legislation written in regard to Nicotine in the NT Medicines, Poison & Therapeutic Goods Act 2012
Due to the above I believe that the legislation is just not there to direct the product to being of illegal use as the Health Department states.
It is also immoral to make nicotine illegal to thousands of vapers whilst allowing smoking a known killer as the a fall back option. This is extremely unethical and derelict of duty. This enforceable law also has had no democratic process. No bills, No intelligent discussion to which this important issue should, No Votes as is the process with the introduction of all new legislation.
The part on the TGA website that states what I believe the Health Department is referring to as a jurisdictional legislation that gives them the right to override the federal PIS is not as they have interpreted it. The wording used that states “ it must also be legal in your State or Territory “refers to specific State or Territory legislation being written in regard to the substance, and that legislation would override the TGA PIS. This has not been done. Nicotine is not mentioned once in the NT Poisons and Medicines Act. No Legislation has been written to adjust the scheduling of Nicotine from the federal register. How then can a S4 substance be upscaled to an S7 when the scheduling in the federal register clearly places it as a S4
Note that the TGA specifies WA as the only state with additional laws in regard to e-cigarette use, these laws in WA followed due process, bills, debate in the legislative assembly and voting prior to enforceable legislation. This enacting of this legislation is against the grain of democracy and a human rights issue as it takes away the rights of a person to choose how they deal with their addiction by means of what many professionals say is a healthier alternative whilst leaving smoking as the fall back option. Essentially pushing many back to cigarette use.
I ask that an emergency meeting be called to discuss the justification & legitimacy for this law and the undemocratic means by which it has been attempted to be enacted and forced on Territorians. As the usual democratic procedures to installing legislation have not been followed here. The opinions of a couple deciding for the many with no intelligent debate or legislative process.
Nicotine in the Federal Register is scheduled as the following:
Current scheduling status and relevant scheduling history
Nicotine is currently listed in the Poisons Standard in Schedules 7, 6, 4, & 2 Appendix F (Part 3), and Appendix J (Part 2) as follows:
- when included in Schedule 6;
- in preparations for human therapeutic use; or
- in tobacco prepared and packed for smoking.
NICOTINE in preparations containing 3 per cent or less of nicotine when labelled and packed for the treatment of animals.
NICOTINE in preparations for human therapeutic use except for use as an aid in withdrawal from tobacco smoking in preparations for oromucosal or transdermal use. (this means that S4 is for human therapeutic use except when used in gums and patches (which are S2)
Appendix F, Part 3 (POISONS (other than agricultural and veterinary chemicals) TO BE LABELLED WITH WARNING STATEMENTS OR SAFETY DIRECTIONS) under the entry:
NICOTINE except when in tobacco
Safety directions 1: Avoid contact with eyes, and 4: Avoid contact with skin.
Appendix J, Part 2
NICOTINE: 1 - Not to be available except to authorised or licensed persons.
This clearly places Nicotine when used for human therapeutic use with a prescription under S4 in the Federal Register, how then can the NTG move it to S7 with no legislation written to redirect it or to deviate from the federal register?
I ask that you as an Elected Official stand for the human rights of your electorate and question the justification behind this move and the validity of this attempt to place an enforceable legislation on the people of the NT. Legislation that has had no due process, no bill introduction, no intelligent debate (that it deserves as a health and human rights issue and that moves to force thousands unethically back to smoking). This attempt to install legislation is undemocratic and unethical and denies the people of their basic human right to choose what is regarded by many health professionals as a healthier alternative for smoking. The way that this has been enacted has also denied the people of a voice and denied your voice as an elected official.
This is a medication for many and to deny access is questionable and to force many back to smoking immoral.
Kirstin Parry / Director
1/641 Stuart Hwy, Berrimah NT.0828, Australia