Skip to content
Medical Health Aged Care

RACGP backs listing of smoking cessation medicine

Royal Australian College of GPs 2 mins read

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has thrown its support behind a new drug that can help people quit smoking.

It comes following Australia’s chief medicine and therapeutic regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, receiving a private application to schedule the drug Cytisine as a potential medicine for smoking cessation.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said the medicine could make a real difference.

“There has never been a more important time to help people quit nicotine products, including cigarettes and nicotine vaping products,” she said.

“Unfortunately, some of the approved medications for smoking cessation, including nicotine replacement therapy options like patches, are set to be removed from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in a few months’ time. We have asked federal Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler to step in to prevent the possible removal of nicotine patches from the public scheme. Otherwise, we will regress in our fight against nicotine use in Australia.

“In the meantime, approving this new medicine Cytisine, will also play a key role in helping patients quit nicotine. At a time where our world-leading efforts to reduce smoking cessation are under threat from the spectre of more and more people, including young people, taking up nicotine vaping, we need additional tools in our smoking and vaping cessation toolbox.”

Dr Higgins said that Cytisine was not an unknown quantity.

“This medicine has a proven track record in smoking cessation, it has minimal side effects, and it is sorely needed to tackle the ongoing battle of nicotine addiction, particularly among our youth,” she said.

“It has been safely used in eastern Europe for smoking cessation since the 1960s. So, we support the application for this medicine to be scheduled as a smoking cessation aid and we continue to urge the Government to step in and prevent the removal of nicotine patches from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

“If you, or someone you know, wants to quit nicotine – please consult with your GP. We have the strategies, advice, and medicines available to help you along every step of the way. Once you quit smoking, you will feel so much better, and so relieved you took that first step of booking an appointment with your trusted GP. It could be the best decision you ever make.”


RACGP spokespeople are available for interview.

About us:

About the RACGP

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is the peak representative organisation for general practice, the backbone of Australia’s health system. We set the standards for general practice, facilitate lifelong learning for GPs, connect the general practice community, and advocate for better health and wellbeing for all Australians.

Visit To unsubscribe from RACGP media releases, click here.

Contact details:

John Ronan
Media Adviser

Ally Francis
Media Adviser

Stuart Winthrope
Media Officer


Email: (we will respond promptly to all media inquiries).

Follow us on Twitter: @RACGP and Facebook.

More from this category

  • Environment, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 12/04/2024
  • 14:56
Climate Media Centre

Government heat map ‘wake up call’ to stop burning fossil fuels

Friday 12 April 2024 Advocacy groups have welcomed the release of the Federal Government’s announcement of a heat mapping tool to assist affected communities deal with the worst of extreme heat, but have called on government to do more to address the root cause, climate change caused by the continued use of fossil fuels. Emma Bacon, Executive Director of Sweltering Cities “Heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest environmental disaster, so we welcome the Government’s acknowledgement of the severe impacts being felt by communities across the country. Clearly, some of the communities most impacted in areas like Western Sydney are facing climate, health,…

  • Biotechnology, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 12/04/2024
  • 13:40

UNSW and Mid North Coast Local Health District to boost research and students in rural communities

The strategic partnership will place UNSW students at local hospitals and streamline research collaboration opportunities. UNSW Sydney has signed an historic three-year Memorandum of…

  • Contains:
  • Medical Health Aged Care, Sport Recreation
  • 12/04/2024
  • 08:46
Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney

Industry backing for Wipeout Dementia raises $2.5 million for research

No amount of wild weather could stop Olympic Bronze Medalist Owen Wright and 1999 World Surfing Champion Mark Occhilupo from joining Sydney’s property industry…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.