Everybody’s talking about E-Cigarettes. The controversial new product is effectively an electronic device which allows users to inhale liquid nicotine in a vaporised form. Though it is banned in some states (and quasi-legal in others), it seems that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) accidentally admitted the product to its register of goods… for two whole months!
The embarrassing blunder saw the TGA enter full damage-control. The administrative body accepted three electronic cigarette devices and admitted them to the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. According to the TGA, the original applicants had sought to have the products listed as ‘medical devices’, claiming that the e-cigarette could “be used as a quit smoking aid”.
For two months after the addition, the TGA remained painfully oblivious to its error. Despite public discussion of the technology reaching an all time high, the official body failed to accurately and efficiently carry out its own process of ‘due diligence’.
According to the SMH, who gained access to documents via Freedom of Information, an Electronic Vaporiser Kit, an Evo Electronic Vaporiser Kit and Vaporiser Kit Cartridges were produced and submitted by Sydney-based health company EVA Natural. The documents also reveal the speed with which the applications were approved: two applications were received, approved and reviewed all in the same twenty four hour period, while the third took just another day in the review and approval process.
The TGA’s spokesperson confirmed it was indeed listed as a medical device on the register. “However, it was subsequently removed after it was identified that it had been self-listed inappropriately,” she told the SMH.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended caution to global users of the device. They state that strict regulations and increased study of the technology are necessary in all markets. Accordingly, the National Health and Medical Research Council are undertaking research into the potential for e-cigarettes to help subjects quit smoking.
With the results due soon, watch this space for more as it develops…
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