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Australia's major pharmacy brands have said they will not sell vape without a prescription, adding that the new Vaping Reforms bill does not provide indemnity to pharmacists for counseling customers on its use.

As the new law comes into effect in October, TerryWhite Chemmart, Priceline Pharmacy, National Pharmacies in South Australia and 777 Group in West Australia disagreed with the legislation that allowed adult customers to buy vape without a doctor's prescription, ABC News reported.

Last week, the federal government passed the new law on vapes restricting the sale of vapes to pharmacies from July 1, which means retail chains cannot sell vapes at their outlets. From October, customers can buy vapes without a doctor's prescription after the pharmacist counsels on the health hazards and confirm the buyer is above 18 years. Children below 18 years need to show a prescription.

The new law also limits nicotine content in vape, as it has been downgraded from schedule 4 to 3 of the poisons standard. Vapes will come in plain packaging and are limited to mint, menthol or tobacco flavors.

National vice-president of Pharmacy Guild of Australia Anthony Tassone reacted that the federal government was compromising community health, in addition to overlooking the fact that vapes could be used as a means to cessation of smoking, The New Daily reported.

He added that the Therapeutic Goods Administration has not approved vaping products and the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods has not listed nicotine-containing vape.

"Pharmacists can only supply a schedule 3 medicine if there is an established therapeutic need. When we don't know the long-term effects of vapes on patient safety, how can a pharmacist make an informed decision?" Tassone said. "We are deeply disappointed that public policy has been developed in a vacuum without consultation prior to these amendments being passed."

However, the franchisors function independently and are not bound by the decision of the major brands.

Health Minister Mark Butler, too, commented how the pharmacies are not controlled by the government and cannot be forced to stock vapes.

"Of course, pharmacies aren't owned by the government, so they can't be directed by the government what they sell. You know, some pharmacies choose to offer methadone treatment, some don't," he said. "This will obviously be a decision by individual pharmacies."

Anyone who violates the new law and supplies vaping products will attract seven years imprisonment or a fine of up to $1.57 million.