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  • January 13, 2021 9 min read


    What is Australia’s problem with vaping Nicotine?

    Australia has some of the most restrictive laws in the world on vaping. Including laws that make it illegal to import nicotine-containing e-liquid for personal use. 

    Howeverthe TGA (The Therapeutic Goods Administration) is looking for a way to allow nicotine containing e-liquids into the country safely and legally asVaping is significantly safer than smoking.

    Australian vaping policy advocates are calling for the regulation of medical-strength nicotine vaporizers. The latest research indicates that vaping e-liquid containing high concentrations of nicotine can help smokers quit more successfully than other forms of nicotine replacement therapies. Some vapers report that a high concentration of nicotine e-liquid is satisfying enough to use as a complete substitute for smoking cigarettes, and even acts as an appetite suppressant. 

    The new regulation will allow doctors to give vaping prescriptions to smokers who want to quit. 



    Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration is proposing tougher regulations for e-cigarettes.


    Well, this is not only happening in Australia but in the rest of the world as well. As more and more people look to nicotine vape juice to help them quit smoking, the cycle of mods and nicotine seems like it is repeating itself. 

    The evolution of nicotine vape juice and systems


    When vaping was first invented, it was with low powered devices that resembled pens and contained nicotine vape juice that had high concentrations of nicotine. Sound like any device you know? That’s right. The very first vape systems resembled what we know today as pod systems. The only difference between the vape systems and the current vape pods is that the original nicotine vape juice used was using freebase nicotine, which was very harsh at high concentrations. While today, salt nicotine juices for instance are still relatively smooth on the throat at high concentrations. 

    As systems became more and more powerful, the nicotine content in nicotine vape juice started to go down to compensate for the more power and vapor production of the newer devices. Aside from that, the power of these devices allowed nicotine vape juice to have higher concentrations of VG, which in turn allowed for many more flavor combinations in vape juices. 


    From bigger to smaller in Australia


    With the threat of a sweeping ban of nicotine vape juice around the world, smaller and more discreet vaping devices that use higher concentrations of nicotine became more and more popular. Pod systems started to become the rage again so that people can discreetly get their nicotine vape juice fix without blowing out those obvious plumes of vapor. These pod systems were a bit restrictive due to the fact that pods weren’t refillable and once you’re done with a cartridge, you’ll have to get a new one. 


    The demand for salt-based nicotine vape juice


    Due to their convenience and to the demand of many vapers around the world, Australia included, many mod makers started creating refillable pods that used nicotine vape juice in strengths of 25mg/ml and 50mg/ml, much higher than your regular e-liquid. Of course, this attracted the attention of many vapers and this has become one of the hottest trends in vaping in Australia. 


    The cycle begins anew


    For some reason mod makers started to make pod cartridges that you can rebuild or RBAs. With the advent of rebuildable pod cartridges or RBAs, the miniscule batteries in pod systems could no longer handle the voltage requirements of the users who were using the pod systems to use with their VG-based nicotine vape juice. We can now see “pod” systems in Australia that use the standard 18650 batteries that we all know and love in our regular mods. So what’s the difference between these pod systems that use 18650 batteries and rebuildable cartridges? I actually have no idea. In my eyes, and in the eyes of many, these are just smaller and sleeker variable mods in the guise of pod systems. And if I were a betting man, I’d be willing to bet that there’s going to be “pod” systems that contain much larger batteries that what we’re seeing on “regular” systems today.

    The current situation of the nicotine vape juice and systems market.


    The e-cigarette industry is worth about $10 billion, and is expected to more than double in value by 2023. 1 Billion people around the world are expected to use e-cigarettes in 2023.

    E-cigarettes with nicotine have been approved as a smoking cessation device in the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. 

    Australia’s Stand on Nicotine Vape Juice


    Contrary to what most people think about vaping in Australia, it is actually legal for people to use nicotine vape juice with the exception of Queensland. All over Australia, again with the exception of Queensland, you cannot be fined for using an e-cigarette or vaporizer that uses nicotine vape juice. 

    As for purchasing nicotine vape juice, it is still a gray area as it is still illegal for people in Australia (let’s just assume from this point that when I say Australia, I mean everywhere in Australia with the exception of Queensland). You cannot buy Nicotine Vape juice for personal use, BUT you can purchase from ecigoz in Sydney and use it as a smoking cessation tool or an aid to assist you with nicotine withdrawal from quitting cigarettes. 

    Local Availability of Nicotine Vape Juice in Australia


    While it’s still hard to find brick and mortar stores in Australia that carry nicotine vape juice, it’s quite easy to purchase them online and have them delivered. Purchasing from online stores is perfectly legal under the personal importation scheme. 

    Do take note though that if your order gets questioned, you have to have the correct prescription from a registered medical practitioner. Since the RACGP has already recommended the use of Nicotine Vape Juice as an accepted nicotine replacement therapy, and there are a lot of practitioners that view vaping as a great cessation tool, it is not hard to obtain a prescription if you really need to import Nicotine Vape Juice from outside Australia. 


    Things to Keep in mind when Importing Nicotine Vape juice into Australia 


    The current plan is that from October 2021, you just can’t order Nicotine vape juice without taking note of some very important guidelines so that your parcel won’t be held by customers and risk a fine. 

    • VERY IMPORTANT. You must have a prescription for Nicotine Vape Juice from a registered medical practitioner or GP.
    • Your package must not contain anything that is absolutely illegal, so no funny stuff when ordering your juices online. Let’s not give them a reason to tighten down when the situation is looking very positive. 
    • There is this provision that single orders should not contain more than a three-month supply but it’s pretty vague when it comes to the definition of how much Nicotine Vape Juice is considered to be a three-month supply. As a rule of thumb, keep it under a liter of total volume and it should be fine. 

    The Future of Nicotine Vape juice in Australia.


    With the RACGP’s recommendation, the future of vaping in Australia looks bright and now that more and more doctors are seeing how vaping can really be an effective nicotine replacement therapy, it’s very hopeful that we’re going to see a relaxation of vaping laws in the coming years. For now, we’ll just have to comply with the current laws and make sure that we’re staying safe while enjoying our favorite nicotine vape juice. Now if you have a problem with obtaining a prescription, you can contact ATHRA or the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and they will contact your doctor for you to explain to them the benefits of prescribing Nicotine Vape Juice. 

    Nicotine Vape Juice more effective than counseling for smoking cessation.


    At the American College of Cardiology’s 69th Annual Scientific Session and Expo, many investigators and experts from Quebec, specifically the Jewish General Hospital, have shown proof that the inclusion of nicotine vape juice and vaping in smoking cessation plans is much more effective than just counseling alone. This echoes the RACGP recommendation that nicotine vape juice can be an effective smoking cessation tool in Australia. 

    The study showed that smokers who were given nicotine vape juice were more likely to quit or at the very least, reduce smoking after 12 weeks when compared to counseling. This data was presented by Mark J. Eisenberg, MD, MPH, who is a noted cardiologist and professor of Medicine at McGill University. Mark and his team has shown that vaping nicotine vape juice has more benefits in short-term attempts in smoking cessation. 

    Not a magic bullet.

    Dr. Eisenberg’s exact words were “Vaping with counseling is more effective than counseling alone, although it’s not a magic bullet for smoking cessation”. For many vapers in Australia, while this statement may sound like it’s playing safe, it is also very telling of the fact that nicotine vape juice and vaping has done what no other smoking cessation method has done, which is get an actual recommendation from many doctors not only in Australia, but also around the world as a real effective cessation tool. 


    Nicotine Vape Juice doubles the effectivity of counseling 


    The researchers have shown that the participants in the study that vaped nicotine vape juice in conjunction with counseling were 68.8% more likely to quit combustible/traditional cigarettes while those who underwent counseling alone had a 33.9% chance of quitting. If you just look at the numbers, it is clear that nicotine vape juice is a very good smoking cessation tool. 

    This is one of the first real studies done with actual trials as opposed to surveys. The study was a randomized, multicenter, and controlled trial to evaluate the benefit of nicotine vape juice and e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool across a general population. The study had 376 patients and it was randomized by providing some with nicotine vape juice, non-nicotine vape juice, and cold turkey. The study took place over a period of 12 weeks. 

    Smoking Reduction, A good effect 


    The study also showed that for those in the trial that were unable to totally quit smoking, nicotine vape juice still reported some benefits. 43% of all those who took nicotine vape juice during the trial reported smoking LESS than they did before the trials (which may lead to full cessation in the future) and 35.4% of those who received vape juice with no nicotine also reported a decrease in smoking. Those who received counseling alone only reported 24.8% a reduction of smoking after the trial. 

    The result of the study is as clear as day. Nicotine vape juice works as a smoking cessation tool. No wonder it was recommended by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners as a real smoking cessation tool. 

    E-cigarettes are now prescription-only.

    While the government says this is to protect teenagers from addiction, many health experts are concerned it will encourage smokers to continue smoking, rather than quit.

    E-cigarettes are currently available over the counter, and it’s now been proposed that they should be prescription only in the future.

    This is terrible news, since it means that 6 million ex-smokers will be unable to re-use the tool that has probably changed their lives for the better.

    FAQ : 

    Why is the government introducing this regulation?

    The government is introducing this regulation because of evidence linking e-cigarette use to an uptake in smoking amongst young people, the risk of e-cigarettes becoming a gateway for young people to go on and smoke conventional tobacco, and the fact that like all tobacco products, e-cigarettes are not safe.

    Will I still be able to get e-cigarettes?

    Yes, you will still be able to get them. Vaping regulation will not remove e-cigarettes from the market. The main change is that vaping products will have to undergo safety tests and meet certain hygiene standards. 

    What will happen to my existing order if it's not delivered before a prohibition comes into effect?

    You can keep using your device and any e-liquid you have on hand, but you won't be able to order or receive new vape devices, e-liquids, or e-cigars/e-pipes from Australia Post unless you have a prescription from your doctor.

    Will I get a refund if I paid for my order and it's seized by the ABF?

    It is unlikely to be covered by Australian consumer law, which will mean you’ll have no right to a refund. Click here to find out more about your rights from the ACCC.

    If I get a prescription, how can the e-cigarettes be brought into Australia?

    Unless you have a prescription, you may not bring e-cigarettes with nicotine into Australia. Customs officers at the Australian border can search any electronic product with a computer chip for illegal substances.

    Can I bring in e-cigarettes if I'm returning to Australia from overseas travel?

    If you purchase e-cigarettes containing nicotine for personal use, you should put them in your checked luggage. Upon arrival, you will need to present your boarding pass and ticket to claim your bags. An airline representative will take the products to be scanned before putting them back in your bag. This process is required because e-liquids are considered dangerous goods.

    What are the penalties if I order e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine online without a prescription?

    Vaping regulation is getting stricter and there are penalties if you purchase e-cigarettes containing nicotine over the internet. The current legislation doesn’t allow for a fine or penalty for personal importation however commercial importation (>$1500) importers may be fined under current custom laws.


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