Under Australian law, it is illegal to buy, possess or use liquid nicotine for vaping without a prescription from a registered Australian medical practitioner.
In Australia, medicines and poisons are listed in the Poisons Standard and are classified into categories called Schedules, which determine how they are regulated. Nicotine is classified as a Schedule 7 ’dangerous poison’, along with arsenic and strychnine. The exceptions to this classification are nicotine in tobacco for smoking and medicinal nicotine replacement products.
However, importation, use and possession of liquid nicotine for a ‘therapeutic use’ (eg to quit or reduce smoking or to prevent relapse) are legal if the user has a prescription from an Australian medical practitioner. It is then classified as a Schedule 4 product (prescription only) and it is permissible to possess or use it for personal use.
You can legally import nicotine from overseas to help you quit or reduce smoking under the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Personal Importation Scheme. You may import 3 months’ supply at a time for personal use, up to a total of 15 months’ supply per year. The law requires you to have a prescription from a registered Australian doctor. Keep the script at home, or as a photo on your phone in case it is required. However, the TGA warns that there may be risks in importing nicotine from overseas suppliers as quality cannot be guaranteed.
Authorised Australian compounding pharmacies can legally prepare nicotine e-liquid if provided with a doctor’s prescription for a therapeutic purpose.
Preparation and supply of liquid nicotine for a particular person is legal under the ‘Compounding exemption’ in item 6 of Schedule 5 to the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990.
It is ILLEGAL to source liquid nicotine in Australia without a prescription. Purchase of illegal nicotine ‘under the counter’ is STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. There are no guarantees of product quality or safety or that the liquid is what it claims to be. It is also an offence under state laws.
Using e-cigarettes on public transport vehicles such as trains, buses, light rail, ferries is also banned under the Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017.
Individual establishments and workplaces such as businesses, councils and other organisations may develop their own smoke-free policies to ban the use of e-cigarettes within the premises
No use in cars with children under 16y
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