Australia Nicotine Law Update

From 1 October 2021, in accordance with the new Personal Importation Scheme the Australian Government and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will require all Australian vapers to hold a valid medical prescription in order to import nicotine e-liquid products. 

This means that prior to ordering vape products containing nicotine from VAPELAB or any other vape retailer, you must first obtain a nicotine prescription from a registered practitioner.

After placing an order, we will contact you via email to request a copy of your prescription, this will be submitted to DHL along with the shipment documentation for fast entry to Australia. 

 

Personal Importation Scheme for Nicotine Products

Under the Personal Importation Scheme you may import a 3 month supply of nicotine products at one time, provided that you lawfully comply with the following conditions set out by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA):

  • The importer must possess a valid prescription from a registered medical practitioner.
  • The products can only be imported for the therapeutic use of the importer or the importer's immediate family members.
  • The amount of nicotine e-liquid imported should not be more than a 3-month supply. If you wish to import more than a 3 months supply, an Australian-registered doctor will first need to apply to the TGA for Special Access Scheme approval.
  • Nicotine e-liquids imported in a 12 month period should not exceed a 15-month supply.
  • The products should not contain any substance prohibited under Customs Act (nicotine is not prohibited under this act).

If you fail to comply with these requirements, you risk the potential seizure of your package as well as a fine of up to $222,000. 

 

Why is the TGA making these changes? 

While the Therapeutic Goods Administration acknowledges that vaping nicotine products is less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes, the decision to regulate nicotine as a prescription-only medicine has resulted from a cautious approach, aimed at minimising the number of adolescents using nicotine products while still allowing current smokers to access these products for smoking cessation. 

 

Do I need a prescription? 

If you are currently importing vape products containing nicotine into Australia then you will need a valid nicotine prescription in order to continue doing so. If you are unsure of how or where to obtain a nicotine prescription please read below. 

You will be able to purchase all of your vaping products from VAPELAB with a valid nicotine prescription!

 

Where can I get a prescription?

While we recommend reaching out to your regular GP first, you may encounter some barriers in obtaining a nicotine prescription from your doctor. This will likely come down to a lack of knowledge, at this early stage many doctors may not be informed about vaping and may refuse to write you a prescription. Your doctor will likely want to ensure you have tried other methods for smoking cessation first such as nicotine patches and gum.

ATHRA (Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association) has an excellent search tool for finding a local doctor near you that is willing and able to prescribe nicotine for smoking cessation. 

Otherwise, we recommend checking out Quit Clinics which is a quick and easy online service that allows you to obtain a prescription within 24 hours. Quit Clinics works with authorised Australian doctors who specialise in prescribing nicotine for smoking cessation and can guide you through the process with their harm reduction strategy. A 12-month prescription will cost you $85 and is super easy to obtain if vaping is right for you:

  1. Visit www.quitclinics.com.
  2. Complete a 5-minute smoking history survey and verify your age.
  3. A doctor will review the information you have provided within 24 hours.
  4. You’ll receive your prescription after a doctor has reviewed your information.

 

What happens if I don’t have a prescription? 

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is tasked with enforcing the new nicotine prescription requirements and may seize any non-compliant nicotine vaping products if your shipment does not include a valid prescription. Under the Customs Act 1901, importing nicotine products without a valid prescription could incur a fine of up to $222,000. 

We will not ship your order if you are unable to provide us with a valid nicotine prescription.

 

Can I still order my vape products from VAPELAB?

Absolutely! Once you have obtained a valid nicotine prescription, you will be able to place an order for your favourite vape products through our website.

After you have placed your order with us, we will contact you via email to request a copy of your prescription. Alternatively, you may email us a copy of your prescription via our contact page. Our team are currently working hard to simplify this process through a file upload option when you checkout on our website - fingers crossed we can get this available for you ASAP! 

Once we have received your prescription, your order with be shipped as usual with DHL Express and should be with you in 2-7 business days.

 

Where can I find more information on this?

For more information please refer to the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) website regarding nicotine law changes, this can be found here. We also recommend checking out the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association’s (ATHRA) website here.

If you are unsure about any of the above information or have further questions, please feel free to contact us via our contact page, our team here at VAPELAB are always happy to help!