A large amount of people who enjoy vaping also enjoy traditional cigarettes and want to load their e-cigarettes with a nicotine infused e-liquid. E-liquid with nicotine is in high demand by Australians who want a different way to consume nicotine, especially those who desire to use their e-cigarette or vape as a means to help them quit smoking traditional cigarettes.
In Australia, The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has maintained a national ban on the sale of e-cigarettes and other vape devices that contain e-juice with nicotine. It is also illegal to sell e-juice with nicotine either individually or bundled with a vaping device.
The reasoning for the ban has been described by Australian health experts as a means to discourage the normalisation of consuming nicotine with e-cigarettes. With a long history of public health initiatives aimed at getting Australians to quit smoking – its understandable that there are fears around a new gadget (with an arguably less harsh delivery method) making addiction to nicotine more widespread.
There is particular concern around the technological aspect of e-cigs and vapes being more appealing to a younger generation. The electronic aspect of colourful LEDs lighting up when you draw from the device could make e-cigs more appealing to children and teenagers.
Also, the culture of customisation around vaping and vape devices also makes them more appealing. People can buy all manner of accessories and paraphernalia for their vape or e-cig, making the ‘hobby’ aspect of vaping a legitimate reason to partake.
Again, the fear is that the culture around vaping makes it an easier entry point to nicotine addiction, especially for young people who would have otherwise found cigarettes unappealing and avoided forming a habit. Because of this, the sale of e-juice with nicotine in Australia is illegal and you are only permitted to import e-juice with nicotine under special medical circumstances.
In Australia, you need a prescription from a doctor that says you have a therapeutic need for e-juice with nicotine in order to use it in your vape or e-cig. You are only permitted to import a personal supply of e-juice with nicotine. Obviously, it is illegal for you to re-sell, give away or share these e-juice cartridges once you get them as they have been imported specifically for your medical need as prescribed by a licensed GP.
It is not technically illegal to import e-juice with nicotine; however, it is illegal to take possession of it without a doctor’s prescription. If you collet a parcel of nicotine e-juice for your own possession and don’t have a prescription to use it, you are in breach of the law.
In Australia, nicotine is listed as a poisonous substance unless it is contained with a smoking product or a product designed to help you quit smoking. Products that are certified quit smoking aides (patches, sprays, gum etc.) are allowed to contain a controlled amount of nicotine for the purposes of helping people ween off their dependency and have a great deal of evidence to support their effectiveness.
E-cigs and vapes are still relatively untested when it comes to their effectiveness as a pure quitting aide and therefore aren’t supported by a consensus of Australian doctors as a legitimate quitting method. Some have argued that e-cigs with nicotine could actually increase addiction as the delivery method is smoother and easier to use over and over again rather than a traditional cigarette which has a much shorter lifespan before you have to think about lighting another.
As we’ve established, the only way to legally get e-juice with nicotine in Australia is to import it while also possessing a prescription from a doctor. If you have a prescription permitting you to use nicotine infused e-juice, then you are free to shop online and find a flavour that suits you.
Typically, those switching from cigarettes to a vape or e-cig will go with a flavour that has a nicotine content close to what they are used to. This makes the transition easier for many users who normally experience severe withdrawals when they don’t get the nicotine they are used to.
Because you are unable to purchase e-juice with nicotine at any brick and mortar location in Australia, you are permitted to purchase a bulk amount from overseas. Under the law, you are allowed to import up to 3 months supply for personal consumption, with a maximum allowance of 15 months supply over a year.
A legally authorised compounding pharmacy is able to prepare e-juice with nicotine in it for therapeutic use when presented with a prescription from your doctor. This is considered safer by doctors because there is more control over the quality of the nicotine via a pharmacy than via an online retailer.
So, the answer is yes – it’s possible to spend your money and get e-juice with nicotine in Australia. All you need is a prescription from a doctor and you can import a personal supply or have one made for you at a compounding pharmacy.