Australian Vape and Nicotine Laws

Navigating Australia’s vaping laws can be pretty tricky as these laws vary from state to state. With legislation changes in 2021, it’s more important than ever that consumers understand new regulations. Confusion about these laws can lead people to the false assumption that vaping is complex; however, we’re here to guide you in making the process seamless and straightforward by answering any questions you may have about vaping and nicotine laws in Australia. 

Are vapes illegal in Australia? 

From 1 October 2021, Australians will need a prescription to access nicotine-containing e-cigarette products for any purpose legally. This includes importing these products from overseas.

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 most states and territories, it is also illegal to use e-cigarettes in places where smoking is illegal.

Simply put, you must have a prescription and follow the law as determined by your state or territory. 

How old do you have to be to vape?

To do anything vape-related, Australian law requires you to be 18 years or older. Anyone under the age of 18 caught vaping or with vape products will have the items seized by authorities, and the person(s) who supplied them can be fined and/or imprisoned. 

You must be 18 years or older to vape in Australia.
You must be 18 years or older to buy a vape in Australia.
To get a nicotine prescription in Australia, you must be 18 years or older.
In most states, it is illegal to vape in cars with someone under the age of 16 present.

Doctors will not approve a prescription for patients under 18 years of age, pregnant, or have never smoked or vaped before.


Are vapes legal in NSW? 

From 1 October 2021, e-cigarettes and e-liquids containing nicotine are prescription-only medicine. This means pharmacists in community pharmacies can supply e-liquids and e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) to their customers (18 years and over) if they have a valid prescription from a doctor.



Are vapes legal in Victoria? 

From 1 October 2021, all nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine, are Schedule 4 (prescription only) medicines. Consumers require a prescription for all purchases of nicotine vaping products. This includes purchases from Australian pharmacists and overseas.



Are vapes legal in Queensland? 

Electronic cigarettes and electronic cigarette products which contain nicotine are illegal in Queensland unless on prescription and provided by a pharmacist or through Therapeutic Goods Administration processes.



Are vapes legal in WA? 

It is illegal to sell, supply or possess an e-cigarette or any liquid that contains nicotine in Australia without a doctor’s prescription.



When are vapes getting banned in Australia?

While vapes and vaping are not getting banned in Australia, they are heavily regulated, with those regulations varying from state to state. You must ensure to follow the law as determined by your state or territory. 


Are there fines for vaping in Australia?

Yes, you can be fined for acquiring, using and/or possessing liquid nicotine unless it is prescribed by a doctor. Depending on your state, you can face fines of over $10,000 or even up to 2 years in prison. 


Please note that it is important that you keep up-to-date with state laws as these may change from time to time. For more information, check out Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration FAQs here, or have a look at the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) here.


New prescription laws come into effect from October 1st.


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