The Australian laws state that it is illegal to sell, advertise, and import for resale electronic cigarettes and related products that contain nicotine. Therefore, the many e-cigarette companies based in Australia can only sell electronic cigarettes and products that contain no nicotine.

Consumer can however order nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquid online from a company based outside of Australia, and have them delivered. The law in Australia states it is legal to import a 3 month supply of e-liquid nicotine for personal use. There is no import prohibition from customs on electronic cigarettes with nicotine for personal use and no customs fees for orders under $1000 AUD.

“Careful, proportionate deregulation of e-cigarettes could give Australian smokers access to the benefits of vaping while minimising potential harm to public health.” -C. Mendelsohn
In his article [1], the author suggests a more liberalised regulation to be applied to vaping products in Australia in order to allow smokers a wider access to the vaping products. The demise of combustible tobacco is a public health priority in Australia and Mendelsohn believes that popularity and widespread uptake of e-cigarettes creates the potential for large-scale improvements.


Changes in the current policy may however be conceived and, as opposed to law strictness, appropriate regulations could include:

  • banning vaping in smoke-free areas;
  • bans on sales of e-cigarettes to minors;
  • restricted advertising,
  • improved quality control,
  • child-resistant e-liquid containers and
  • labelling requirements for e-cigarettes.

In New Zealand, law strictness was denounced in December 2015 by physicians who put forward its adverse effects on the availability of nicotine vaping products for the minorities. It wouldn’t be surprising to see raising similar health concerns in Australia, where smoking prevalence is the highest among Aboriginal communities, with smoking-related cancers three times higher compared to the rest of the population and almost half of a population unaware of quit aids. Other communities with low resources might also be prevented from accessing to nicotine e-cigarettes in Australia due to a limited or no access to the internet.

[1] Mendelsohn, CP. Electronic cigarettes: what can we learn from the UK experience? Med. J. Aust. 2016; 204 (1): 14-15.

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Deb Downes
Deb Downes
8 years ago

Harebrained Headline leads to hope for Vapers, only to be dashed when reading original academic paper. Seriously???