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What you need to know about vaping

Australia now has more than 1.3 million adult vapers. That number is rising quickly and looks set to continue doing so.

Unfortunately, existing policies and regulations have failed to keep pace and are now outdated.

As it currently stands, nicotine or nicotine vape liquid can only be purchased with a valid doctor’s prescription. 

As a direct result, adult vapers are now purchasing illicit and potentially harmful nicotine vapes from non-approved and non-regulated sources, with research showing that only 12% of adult nicotine vapers have a prescription to purchase their vaping products.

This current policy has created a booming black market and by continuing with current regulatory settings, Australia is:

  • Rewarding illegal operators
  • Reducing quitting options for smokers, worsening Australia’s public health
  • Allowing young people to access vaping products

It’s time to fix vaping regulations.

A man reading thoughtfully about Australia’s Policy Crisis on the phone

Why Australia’s vaping policies have caused a crisis

Despite anti-vaping advertising campaigns and a nationwide ban on the retail sale of nicotine vaping products, there are more than 1.3 million adult vapers in Australia, a 260% rise over the past 5 years. 

The numbers speak for themselves. The use of vaping products is rising.

Just take a look at the current rules in place:

A valid doctor’s prescription is required to purchase a nicotine vape, or nicotine vape juice. This is unique to Australia

Since 1 October 2021, consumers require a prescription for all purchases of nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine pods and liquid nicotine. This includes purchases from Australian pharmacies and for those personally imported from overseas. It is illegal for other Australian retailers, such as tobacconists, 'vape' shops, supermarkets and convenience stores, to sell nicotine vaping products, even if adult consumers have a prescription.

Research shows only 12% of all adult nicotine vapers in Australia have gone to a doctor for a nicotine prescription meaning many adult vapers are purchasing illicit nicotine vaping products.

Other western countries have adopted policies that allow the retail sale of nicotine vapour products to adult consumers.

The UK and New Zealand have both introduced a model that allows the sale of nicotine vapes to adult consumers.

The EU and Canada also have implemented safety and product quality requirements allowing for the responsible sale of nicotine vaping products to adult consumers.

FAQs on Vaping

Vaping is the heating of a liquid using an electronic device to create a vapour that is inhaled.

A vape, or ‘e-cigarette’ is a device that heats up a liquid to create a vapour that is inhaled. A vape usually includes a battery, heating element and an ‘e-liquid’.

There are many different types of vaping devices available for retail sale. The three most common are:

  1. ‘Open system’ – a customisable device where the user can fill the vaping device with their own ‘e-liquid’.
  2. ‘Closed system’ – rechargeable devices that use pre-filled pods.
  3. ‘Disposables’ – a single unit that is non-rechargeable and disposed of once the battery or puff count is depleted.

The difference between smoking and vaping is that smoking delivers nicotine by burning tobacco whilst vaping delivers nicotine by heating a liquid.