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News and Reviews

Be prepared for vaping law changes

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Be prepared for vaping law changes

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging GPs to be prepared for changes to vaping laws coming into effect on 1 October.

Under the changes nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine, will be available only by prescription as a smoking cessation tool. People will no longer be able to buy these products or import them from overseas websites without a valid prescription.

GPs can prescribe nicotine vaping products by becoming an Authorised Prescriber (only takes a few minutes and is free), through the Special Access Scheme or providing a prescription for three months’ supply via the Personal Importation Scheme.

The RACGP has produced evidence-based guidance for health professionals to support smoking cessation. The guidance covers the evidence on effectiveness of nicotine vaping products for supporting smoking cessation, their place in therapy and the practicalities of prescribing them. In the absence of an evidence base for how to prescribe these products for therapeutic use, practice points have been developed to minimise risk to prescribers and patients, including:

· nicotine vaping products are currently not approved therapeutic products, and it is valid and reasonable for medical practitioners to opt not to prescribe them

· if prescribing, use the Authorised Prescriber or Special Access Scheme prescribing pathways instead of the Personal Importation Scheme to minimise the risk of the patient receiving imported products that do not meet the TGO 110 requirements. These include requirements on labelling, child-resistant packaging, and the prohibition of other active ingredients beside nicotine

· avoid prescribing free-base nicotine at concentrations over 20mg/mL and limit the quantity of nicotine vaping products per prescription to a maximum of three months’ supply (and align the duration of supply with the timing of follow-up)

· avoid the use of flavours or limit these to just tobacco flavour since flavouring chemicals are not standardised and their safety for inhalation into the lung is not known.

· provide follow up as well as behavioural support.

RACGP President Dr Karen Price encouraged all GPs to familiarise themselves with the changes.

“GPs have a lot on their plate right now but it’s important that they are aware of what these changes to vaping laws mean for them and their patients,” she said.

“Prescriptions for nicotine vaping products are not a first-line treatment for smoking cessation and should only be tried when other measures, such as nicotine replacement therapy with behavioural support, have failed.

“It will be the job of GPs in communities across Australia to apply discretion and judgment when considering the patient’s individual circumstances.

“Those who do have a prescription will be able to obtain nicotine vaping products by filling the prescription via a pharmacy.”

The RACGP President said that there were resources available to help bring GPs up to speed with the changes.

“Any GP keen to learn more about these changes can take part in a webinar organised by Quitline and accredited by the RACGP on 5 October, which includes clinical guidance for nicotine vaping products,” she said.

“The webinar will describe the process for prescribing nicotine vaping products and outline all the clinical considerations involved. I encourage all GPs to sign up and learn about these changes that are coming into effect.

“It’s important that GPs are wary of being pressured into prescribing these nicotine vaping products. The laws governing these products are in place for a reason – the long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes or ‘vaping’ are unknown and the evidence base for their efficacy as a smoking cessation tool remains uncertain.

“A prescription for these products should only be used as a last resort, vaping is not a risk-free, harmless version of smoking cigarettes. These are addictive and harmful products that can prove fatal if ingested in certain amounts.”

Dr Price also urged people seeking access to nicotine vaping products to be patient and respectful of GPs and practice staff.

“I understand that these changes will take some people by surprise. Please don’t take your frustrations out on GPs, practice managers, nurses, receptionists or administrative workers,” she said.

“They are not the ones who made these rules and GPs will only be able to prescribe these products as a last line treatment for smoking cessation.

“I encourage anyone who smokes or vapes to consult with their GP about quitting and explore the pharmacotherapy and behavioural treatments and supports available. This includes nicotine replacement therapy in the form of a patch, spray, gum or lozenge. There are also several effective drugs that are available such as varenicline, which blocks the pleasure and reward response to smoking, as well as bupropion hydrochloride, which reduces the urge to smoke.

“Many people see quitting as just too difficult but with the right approach, including the support and guidance of a GP and having strong strategies in place, it is possible. It could be the best health decision you ever make.”

Details about the webinar on 5 October and registration can be found here.

The RACGP was selected as one of the recipients of the 2020 World No Tobacco Day awards for our valuable work including the release of new Smoking Cessation Guidelines 2020. Note: The smoking cessation guideline’s conditional recommendation 15 concerning vaping can be found here on the RACGP website.

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News and Reviews

New development planned for Woolgoolga Retirement Village

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New development planned for Woolgoolga Retirement Village

 

Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village Ltd are taking steps to add a collection of modern retirement residences and amenities to their village in High Street. They are in the early phase of planning a new development to be called Callisto Coastal Retirement.

Sasha Andrews, Chief Executive Officer of Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village Ltd is excited about the plans. “We are very proud to be adding Callisto Coastal Retirement to our community.” Ms Andrews said. “We are part of a great community in a fantastic location and aim to set the benchmark for premium retirement living in Woolgoolga.”

At this early stage, they are keen to get input from the local community of future residents to help create the perfect coastal retirement. A Feedback Forum is being offered to eligible potential residents aged 55+, providing an opportunity to learn more, convey their thoughts, ideas and insights around design and services, features, amenities and priorities.

The new development has the support of the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit, community owned organisation. Chairperson, Ian Wade said “Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village has played an important role in the community for many years and we want to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of our seniors for years to come. We have a great opportunity to provide quality retirement living, built with future residents in mind.”

A community Feedback Forum is planned for Tuesday 7 May. For details and to register to attend, go to the website here. For more on the Woolgoolga Retirement Village, visit here.

 

For more Coffs Harbour news, click here.

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Lismore News

Memory Run Walk Jog – My Way Lismore

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Dementia awareness

Memory Run Walk Jog – My Way Lismore

Albert Park Baseball Grounds

Keen Street Lismore
8am Sunday 19th May 2024

Join a fun community activity to fundraise and raise dementia awareness. Last year, more than 10,000 people walked, jogged and ran in cities and towns across Australia for people impacted by dementia. Dementia awareness

Lismore events include a 10km run, a 5km jog/walk or a 1km walk so that the day is inclusive of all levels of physical ability.

There will be information stalls providing details of supports, local resources and services to help those impacted by dementia, as well as food and drinks.

Form a team from your workplace, local club, friends or family (dress up to make it fun!) and enter the 1km walk, 5km jog/walk or a 10km run. Get lots of sponsors!

To register a team or take part as an individual go to:
www.memorywalk.com.au/event/lismore-myway

Dementia awareness

Dementia awareness

Currently, dementia is the leading cause of death in women and overall, it is the second leading cause of death for all Australians. In 2024, it is estimated that more than 1.6 million people in Australia are involved in the care of someone living with dementia.

Dr Jones says ‘The ageing population in the Northern Rivers is growing at an exponential rate. Our region is one of the highest ageing communities in NSW and this comes with increasing rates of those impacted by dementia in our community. I’m quite keen to see that we adopt more preventable approaches against dementia in our region’. Dementia awareness

Dr Jones says ‘There are many things we can do to prevent dementia or delay your risk of developing dementia. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, in particular regular exercise can make a significant difference’.

“We encourage the whole community to come together, not only to raise money for
Dementia Australia, but also to exercise together and to fight this disease” says Dr Jones.

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News and Reviews

Man charged following alleged stabbing – Campsie

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Man charged following alleged stabbing – Campsie

 

A man will face court tomorrow (Friday 12 April 2024) charged over an alleged stabbing in Campsie in Sydney’s southwest yesterday (Wednesday 10 April 2024).

About 8:45pm yesterday, emergency services were called to a unit at Ninth Avenue, Campsie, following reports of a stabbing.

Officers attached to Campsie Police Area Command attended and found a 53-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man with multiple stab wounds.

Both were treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, with the woman taken to St George Hospital with stab wounds to the thigh.

The man was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in a critical condition with stab wounds to his face, arm and chest.

A short time later a 25-year-old man, was arrested and taken to Concord Hospital.

Police established a crime scene and detectives commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Following the 25-year-old man’s release from hospital, he was arrested and taken to Campsie Police Station.

He was charged with two counts of attempted murder and break and enter dwelling and assault with intent to murder.

The man was refused bail to appear at Bankstown Local Court tomorrow (Friday 12 April 2024).

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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