Australia Download PDFAdd to comparison

In Australia the ban on the unauthorised sale, possession or use of nicotine preceded the arrival of e-cigarettes. By law nicotine is restricted and classified as a 'dangerous poison' in Australia. If it is used for therapeutic purposes i.e. quitting smoking, nicotine products have to be registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act (1989). There are ways to legally access nicotine e-liquid, all requiring a prescription from a registered Australian medical practitioner. Few vapers use these methods, and few Australian doctors will write the prescriptions. Australia has a strict regulatory environment for vaping with a complex mix of federal and state laws. There are harsh penalties for possessing or using nicotine e-liquid, which vary from state to state, including jail sentences of up to two years and fines of up to AU$45,000. So far, no vapers have been convicted although the threat is clear. Non-nicotine e-cigarettes are classified as legal consumer products.
Selling e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) and control mechanisms
Sale of e-cigarettes
Banned[1, 2, 3, 4]
As medicinal products
Yes[1, 2, 3, 4]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Comments

4. Rules on e-cigarettes vary by state. Devices are available legally for sale but not nicotine liquid unless on prescription. Although nicotine liquid cannot be sold in Australia it is available via personal importation and online sales. Although technically legal to import , it is illegal to take possession unless a prescription is obtained and importation criteria met.

General use and availability
Legal to use
No[1, 2, 3, 4]
Legal to sell e-cigarette device
Yes[1, 2, 3, 4]
Legal to sell nicotine
No[1, 2, 3, 4]
Legal to buy device online (personal use)
Yes[1, 2, 3, 4]
Legal to buy nicotine online (personal use)
No[1, 2, 3, 4]
Legal to import device - trade
Yes[1, 2, 3, 4]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Comments

4. Rules on e-cigarettes vary by state. Devices are available legally for sale but not nicotine liquid unless on prescription. Although nicotine liquid cannot be sold in Australia it is available via personal importation and online sales. Although technically legal to import , it is illegal to take possession unless a prescription is obtained and importation criteria met.

Advertising & promotion
Public advertising allowed in all Media
No[1, 2, 3, 4]
Advertising allowed at point of sale
No[1, 2, 3, 4]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Comments

4. Rules on e-cigarettes vary by state. Devices are available legally for sale but not nicotine liquid unless on prescription. Although nicotine liquid cannot be sold in Australia it is available via personal importation and online sales. Although technically legal to import , it is illegal to take possession unless a prescription is obtained and importation criteria met.

Health
Legal restrictions on vaping in public places
Yes[1, 2, 3, 4]
References

1. Vapetrotter website. Available at: https://www.vapetrotter.com/laws/

2. Global tobacco control website. Available at: https://www.globaltobaccocontrol.org/node/14052

3. Tobacco Control Laws website. Available at : https://www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/

Comments

4. Rules on e-cigarettes vary by state. Devices are available legally for sale but not nicotine liquid unless on prescription. Although nicotine liquid cannot be sold in Australia it is available via personal importation and online sales. Although technically legal to import , it is illegal to take possession unless a prescription is obtained and importation criteria met.

Notes on methodology & limitations

Data has been collected from a range of sources which are openly available online, such as vaping information/regulation websites & direct from country's legislation where available. In a few instances information has been included which was received from individuals specialising in the field. The regulatory picture changes frequently and these data boxes show the situation at time of going to press. This website will be updated as/when new regulatory information is received. There are gaps in the data available - readers are invited to send in updated information to the GSTHR team.

Country News

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • Australia: Northern Territory to Debate New Vape Laws

  • For the first time ever, when the Territory Parliament regroups this week it is expected to discuss how it will regulate the sale and use of e-cigarettes. Despite the fact that Australia has some of the toughest vaping laws across the globe, many locals have turned to the devices in order to quit smoking. In Australia the devices are legal, but the use of nicotine-containing refills is not. [...]

  • Monday, February 11, 2019
  • Former Northern Territory smokers who quit cigarettes worried by new vaping laws

  • Sarah Gayford is one of hundreds of vapers in the Northern Territory who say they quit smoking tobacco with the help of vapes or e-cigarettes. When the Territory Parliament sits this week it is expected to debate for the first time how it will regulate the sale and use of e-cigarettes. Ms Gayford, now in her early 40s, was just 39 when she suffered a stroke and her neurologist advised the life-time smoker to quit immediately or risk suffering another stroke.

  • Wednesday, February 06, 2019
  • To vape or not to vape?

  • If you’re walking down the street or are out and about...you see fewer people having a “bunger”, a dart, a cigarette, right? Strong anti-smoking campaigns in Australia are working, but smoking is still a massive killer. [...] Aaron Kearney speaks with the co-deputy director of the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance and HMRI professor Christine Paul and Conjoint Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn from the University of NSW who is also the Chair of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association.

     

  • Tuesday, February 05, 2019
  • Vaping more effective than nicotine patches, but there's a catch

  • Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine patches and gum in helping smokers to quit, a study suggests. A year after quitting tobacco, however, most vapers were still using e-cigarettes, while fewer than one in 10 smokers who quit with the help of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) were still using it.

  • Friday, February 01, 2019
  • Push for vaping to be legalised in Australia continues

  • The latest study released this week from the Queen Mary University of London found 18 per cent of e-cigarette users were smoke-free after a year, compared to 9.9 per cent of people using nicotine-replacement products. The government’s position is that existing evidence indicates that e-cigarettes are not harmless products [...]

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019
  • Call to help disadvantaged to quit smoking

  • Smoking rates among disadvantaged Australians are significantly higher than the general population, but not enough is being done to help them quit, health experts say.

    While smoking might be viewed as the least of their problems, people experiencing homelessness, mental illness and alcohol and other drug dependence are crying out for the right support to quit, according to the Public Health Association of Australia.