In December 2020, faced with the increasing popularity of vaping devices such as e-cigarettes, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced their decision to classify vaping products as Schedule 4 Medicine. This meant consumers would need to obtain a prescription from an Australian doctor before they could purchase vaping products.
Today, the sale and use of vaping products are heavily controlled on both a federal and state level. But with rules varying from state to state, Australia’s vaping laws can get a little complicated.
Smartstop is here to unpack Australia’s vaping regulations to help you access the nicotine replacement products you need, both safely and legally.
New Nicotine Prescription and Vape Laws Australia
The new laws pertaining to vaping products are set out in the Therapeutic Goods (Standard for Nicotine Vaping Products) (TGO 110) Order, which was published in May 2021 and came into effect on 1 October 2021.
The order covers ‘nicotine vaping products’ which are defined as ‘finished products that contain nicotine (in base and/or salt form(s)) in solution that are intended to be vaporised and inhaled using vaping devices (e.g. e-cigarettes)’. These products include:
- Nicotine vape liquids
- Nicotine in disposable e-cigarettes
‘Heat-not-burn’ and other tobacco products are not classified as nicotine vaping products, and are therefore not covered by the guidance.
New Vaping Laws Australia: The Impact of Australian Vape and Nicotine Laws on Vapers
Under federal Australian law, it is illegal to buy, possess, or use liquid nicotine for vaping without a prescription from a registered Australian doctor. This includes purchasing vaping products online from overseas sellers. Most states and territories have also made it illegal to use e-cigarettes in non-smoking areas.
With evidence showing that vaping can act as a gateway to smoking, and that it may have long-term effects on brain development, the law now states that Australians must be over 18 years of age to purchase or use vaping products. These new age restrictions aim to balance the need to prevent adolescents and young adults from taking up smoking, while still granting current smokers access to the smoking cessation products they require.
Vapers risk hefty penalties for acquiring, using, or possessing liquid nicotine without a valid prescription. Depending on the state or territory, you may face fines of up to $30,000 or 2 years in prison for the illegal possession of nicotine.
Advertising Nicotine-Containing Vaping Products
In Australia, advertising prescription medicines to the public is generally prohibited. However, the TGA has granted a legal permission allowing pharmacies and pharmacy marketing groups to promote that they have the stock to fill vaping prescriptions.
There are strict conditions regarding advertising, including the type of media used and the language and information that can be provided. You can find out more about lawfully advertising nicotine vaping products here.
Ensuring Compliance with Australian Nicotine Vape Laws
For your safety, it’s always best to purchase your vaping products through a reputable vendor you can trust to remain compliant with all Australian vape laws. At Smartstop, your wellbeing is our priority, and we’re committed to providing safe and legal access to smoking cessation products to help you quit smoking.
Smartstop holds a Schedule 4 Wholesale licence to supply nicotine products through our trusted network of Australian medical practitioners and pharmacists. All products are independently tested in an Australian laboratory to ensure compliance with Australian TGO 110 standards.
To obtain a prescription, you’ll first need to set up an account and book a Telehealth appointment with a recommended clinic. Only once your doctor has determined that vaping products are a suitable – and safe – solution for you will they issue you a script.
Staying Up-to-Date with Australian Nicotine Vape Laws
To avoid accidentally violating vape laws, we recommend keeping up-to-date on all vaping and nicotine regulations on both a federal and state level.
At Smartstop, we’re committed to providing Australians with the information and guidance they need to stay informed on the latest rules and research. Keep an eye on our Prescription Vaping Information resources for updates about vaping in Australia, and be sure to also read up on the vaping risks so you can make an informed decision about this method of smoking cessation treatment.
We recommend also visiting the Nicotine Vaping Hub for the most timely information regarding nicotine vape laws in Australia. Here, you’ll be able to find the latest research, regulations, and reforms, directly from the TGA.
Australian Vaping Laws by State
In addition to federal regulations, most Australian states and territories have their own vaping laws, so you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the local rules to ensure compliance.
Below, we’ve provided a list of government resources outlining vaping regulations for each state and territory. These resources are maintained by the government, making them an excellent source of information for vapers, prescribers, pharmacists, and manufacturers alike:
New South Wales (NSW)
- NSW Health: E-cigarettes – Tobacco and Smoking
- NSW Health: Information for Retailers Selling E-Cigarettes
- Victoria Department of Health: Smoke Free and Vape Free
- Better Health: Victoria’s Tobacco and E-Cigarette Laws
- Queensland Health: Electronic Cigarettes
- Queensland Government: Electronic Cigarettes
- Vape Truths: What are the Vaping Laws in Queensland?
South Australia (SA)
- SA Health: New E-Cigarette Laws and Other Changes to Tobacco Laws in South Australia
- SA Health: Tobacco and E-Cigarette Laws and Businesses
- SA Health: Tobacco Laws for Outdoor Dining Areas
Northern Territory (NT)
E-cigarettes are currently unclassified under existing NT tobacco and smoking laws, meaning vaping products are entirely regulated on a federal level.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
- NT Health: E-Cigarettes
- NT Health: Smoke Free Areas in Tasmania
- Tasmania Legal Aid: Fact Sheet – Vaping and the Law
Western Australia (WA)
- Healthy WA: Electronic Cigarettes (E-Cigarettes)
- Healthy WA: E-Cigarettes and Vaping
- WA Department of Health: Electronic Cigarettes in Western Australia
Enquire About a Nicotine Prescription Today
Wondering if vaping is the right smoking cessation treatment option for you? Book a Telehealth appointment and enquire about a nicotine prescription today.