From 1 October 2021, consumers require a prescription for all purchases of nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine. This includes purchases from Australian pharmacies and from overseas. It remains illegal for other Australian retailers, such as tobacconists, 'vape' shops and convenience stores, to sell you nicotine vaping products, even if you have a prescription.
These regulatory changes balance the need to prevent adolescents and young adults from taking-up nicotine vaping (and potentially smoking), while enabling current smokers to access these products for smoking cessation with appropriate medical advice. Nicotine vaping products can only be legally used by the person named on the prescription.
Nicotine replacement therapies (including sprays, patches, lozenges, chews and gums) that do not require a prescription will continue to be available from pharmacies and some retail outlets.
If your doctor thinks that a nicotine vaping product may help you to quit smoking, you will need a prescription to access the products through an Australian pharmacy (Authorised Prescriber Scheme or Special Access Scheme) or from an overseas website (Personal Importation Scheme).