Australia Download PDF

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 tables 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

  • Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  • By Ignoring Vaping, Mental Health Orgs Abandon Vulnerable Smokers

  • Recently, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) came out in favor of the use of vaping products for people who have a psychiatric diagnosis. The organization released a statement saying, “The RANZCP acknowledges that e-cigarettes and vaporisers provide a less harmful way to deliver nicotine to people who smoke, thereby minimising the harm associated with smoking tobacco and reducing some of the health disparities experienced by people living with mental illness.”

  • Friday, November 23, 2018
  • SA's new vaping laws divide anti-tobacco groups as state bans online sale of e-cigarettes

  • Anti-tobacco groups are divided over new regulations restricting the sale of e-cigarettes in South Australia which have been described as "draconian".

    SA is the last state in the country to introduce regulations around the sale and use of e-cigarettes and is the first to ban their sale online or by mail. The Tobacco Products Regulation (E-Cigarettes and Review) Amendment Bill was passed by State Parliament in mid-November, also banning the sale of e-cigarette products to children.

  • Monday, November 05, 2018
  • ‘Advance Australia, Not So Fair.’ My Letter To The Australian Government

  • I was a smoker for over 10 years and I’m ashamed to say I absolutely loved it. After an unbelieveable amount of failed attempts, I was convinced that I would never give up smoking.

    Sorrowfully, this is the shared reality of millions of Australians today, and hundreds of millions worldwide. Many of these people have shared their stories and cries for help only to be ignored and shut down by misleading headlines, manifesting into false opinions by the miscreant policy-makers whose ‘personal opinions’ are preached as gospel [...]

  • Sunday, October 28, 2018
  • State vaping laws burn growth industry, opponents say

  • The largest e-cigarette industry in Australia will be “decimated” after major parties in South Australia united to pass the tightest regulations in the nation, retailers and public health advocates say.

    Under amendments to the Tobacco Products Regulation Act, passed by both houses of state parliament and due to be finalised next month, South Australia will be the first jurisdiction to ban sales online or by mail, phone, email or fax, preventing interstate or overseas trade.

  • Thursday, October 11, 2018
  • E-cigarettes should be used more actively to help smokers quit, experts recommend

  • "Ongoing nervousness" about the use of e-cigarettes in stop-smoking services can be a "significant" barrier to people finding support, research revealed during "Stoptober" shows. New research by the University of Exeter and University of Melbourne, funded by Cancer Research UK, suggests stop smoking services which are e-cigarette friendly should advertise this more openly, and says greater use of e-cigarettes has the potential to make considerable impact in helping people give up smoking.

  • Tuesday, October 09, 2018
  • Philip Morris lobbying on e-cigarettes hidden from Australian public

  • Tobacco giant Philip Morris International has been lobbying federal government MPs to overturn Australia’s ban on vaping, but its efforts remain hidden from public view due to fundamental flaws in the lobbyist oversight regime. Philip Morris, owner of six of the world’s 15 biggest cigarette brands, is in the midst of a significant push to grow global sales of its vaping products, predicting they will bring in $17bn to $19bn by 2025, roughly 42% of its total revenue.