E-cigarettes and Vaping FAQs

Published on Thursday, 18 November 2021 at 10:29:26 AM

What are the changes to vaping laws?

Since 1 October 2021, people now need a prescription to order and buy nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine. This applies to purchases made online from overseas websites as well in-person purchases made in Australian pharmacies. A copy of a valid prescription must be provided with any nicotine vaping products imported or sent to Australia.

Is vaping safe?

Unfortunately, we have no long-term data about the health effects of vaping so we don’t know if there will be negative health impacts in the future. There is a myth that flavoured vapes are just harmless water vapour, however, this is not true. Both flavoured and unflavoured vapes contain a variety of chemicals1 and many products that claim to be nicotine-free do in fact contain nicotine.2

Nicotine e-liquid poses a significant risk if spilt on skin or if swallowed.

Nicotine e-liquid is especially dangerous for children, and even tiny quantities can be fatal.

Can vaping help me stop smoking?

There is not enough evidence to show that vaping is an effective way to stop smoking for most people. In fact, non-smokers who start vaping are 3 times more likely to become smokers.3 Your GP or Health Practitioner can discuss proven options for giving up smoking, including medications and other nicotine replacement therapies which are freely available which have been proven to work.

I already vape regularly, what are my options?

If you or someone you know already regularly uses vaping products it is important to know that a prescription is required.

When you make an appointment with your GP or Healthcare Practitioner they will be able to talk through the options that best support your needs.

Where can I find out more?

TGA website: www.tga.gov.au/nicotine-vaping-products-information-consumers Aboriginal Quitline: 13 7848

  1. Ween MP. Moshenky A. Threadgold A. Bastian NA. Hamon R. Badelei A. E-cigarettes and health risks: more to the flavour than just the name. Am J Physiol. Lung cellular and molecular physiology. 2021. 320(4): L600-614.
  2. Chivers E. Janka M. Franklin P. Mullins B. Larcombe A. Nicotine and other potentially harmful compounds in “nicotine‐free” e‐cigarette liquids in Australia. Med JAust 2019; 210:127-128.
  3. Baenziger ON. Ford L. Yazidjoglou A. et al. E-cigarette use and combustible tobacco cigarette smoking uptake among non-smokers, including relapse in former smokers: umbrella review, systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ open 2021;11(3):e045603.

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