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Decision to ban poppers postponed in Australia

Decision to ban poppers postponed in Australia

Poppers are commonly sold as 'room aromas'

The body which regulates regulatory authority for therapeutic goods in Australia has delayed a decision on whether to permanently poppers (amyl nitrite)

The Therapeutic Goods Adminstration (TGA) announced a proposal to temporarily ban the sale, use or possession of poppers in September. It recommended to move nitrite inhalants onto Schedule 9 of the Poisons Standard – the same schedule as heroin.

Poppers are inhaled for either recreational drug purposes or more popularly in the LGBTI community to enhance sex.

But thanks to public pressure from the LGBTI community the TGA has delayed its decision pending further public consultation.

‘The reasons for considering amendments to the Poisons Standard for alkyl nitrites, the main component of “poppers”, arise from the need to balance several factors,’ the TGA said in a statement.

One of those factors included considering ‘the products have significant use among a number of groups in the Australian community’.

That point is something LGBTI people have used as an argument since the announcement of the planned ban.

Sydney-based activist, Steve Spencer, has led the charge to fight the ban. He told Gay Star News in September that the TGA should regulate the production and access of poppers.

Regulation would allow ‘queer Australians to safely access the sexual aids we have always had a need for’. But better regulation would also lead to ‘proper public health education’.

‘The TGA can regulate a dangerous drug like Viagra, so they can regulate a substance like amyl/poppers,’ Spencer said.

The deadline to make a public submission to the TGA on the issue is 15 February, 2019.

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