Sales of nicotine replacement therapy products is Increasing

Published on December 22nd, 2010 11:11

Sales of nonprescription nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products seem to have raised after the government increased taxes on tobacco products.

The excise tax on tobacco was raised to 25% from $60 a kilo. The tax increase raised tobacco products prices by about $5 per packet of 20 cigarettes. “Two months before the tax increase, the sales of smoking cessation products were insignificant, less than two patients per month. Currently the sales are increasing. Even there is an increase in the number of patients looking for smoking cessation programs at the centre’s outpatient hospitals,” stated Jo Jaafar, Family Medicine Specialist from the Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC).

nicotine replacement products

In present the medical centre supplies the Nicorette brand of nicotine gum and nicotine patches. They also supply other types of nicotine replacement therapy products, as for instance Champix and Varenicline which are available on prescription only. Mr. Jo stated that the centre will be watching at the demand for NRTs within the next few months in order to determine whether the current growth is temporary.

Also the centre plans to deliver nicotine inhalers, which will be available in the next year. “Plants to supply other types of smoking cessation products will depend upon patient requests and the accessibility of those products from our pharmaceutical providers,” declared Mr. Jo.

NRTs need a licensed pharmacist in order to distribute the product as nicotine is considered as a poison in the Poisons Act.

A representative for Guardian stated that there was no essential increase in the sales of NRTs at the pharmacies; however on December, 8 the pharmacy was out of stock of nicotine gum, and was expecting a new delivery. Besides Varenicline, the Medical Officer of Health clinic distributes nicotine patches for its patients for free. But this is only distributed to those patients who go through a smoking cessation program and need a nicotine replacement therapy.

The Health Ministry will continue to improve their management program in order to correspond to worldwide standards. “NRTs are quite expensive and nicotine patches were found to be the cheapest and not the least but the last the easiest to use,” stated Dr Emina Hj Abd Rani.

Recently, Mr. Jo had also declared that NRTs were not at a low price, but it was still more effective to stop smoking. “Only think about dangerous diseases you may obtain, loosing work time, anxiety to the family and many other things. You can’t set a price on this,” said, Mr. Jo.

Besides the products mentioned, NRTs are also available in the form of nasal and oral sprays, and soluble tabs. According to a spokesman from the Pharmacy Enforcement Section, NRT products may be introduced into the country for personal use without paying any tax. Each person may bring only a three month supply.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Related tags: nicotine-free cigarette | nicotine | tobacco products | smoking | nicotine addiction

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