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Nicotine

Nicotine Laws FAQ

From October 1, 2021 new laws are coming into effect.

If you are an adult liquid nicotine consumer there are things you should know!

The full information to be relied upon is via this link here

The aim of this page is to help you make sense of the jargon to help you understand in everyday terms and words what you will need to know.

There is also a form at the bottom of the page to help me help you the consumer with any problems / issues / questions you encounter (as best I can), so together, with that information we can help advocate for more reasonable access than what is taking effect on October 1, 2021. 

The information on this page is a guide only and while the utmost care and research has been done to answer the questions below as accurately as possible, ultimately the written rules of the TGA at the link here should be relied upon. 

 

 

Things like:

 

Who will it effect?

What do nicotine users need to do?

When will this be happening and when should vapers take action to remain legal?

Where could this be a problem in Australia, does it affect all States and territories?

Why are they (ie. Govt. TGA ect) doing this?

Prefer to watch a video on this with Dr. Colin Mendelssohn?

Prefer to listen to the free podcast? 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

Read though the following questions. If you can't find the answer please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Q&A

1/ What will these new laws mean for travelers coming to Australia?

International Travellers have to obtain a prescription from an AUSTRALIAN doctor prior to bringing in any nicotine for vaping into Australia otherwise they will be subject to ABF penalties up to $220000.

2/ What fines or penalties will vapers be subjected to if they import nicotine without a prescription? Will that vary state to state?

There will be a federal penalty up to $220000. On a State and territory level you will also be susceptible to state penalties which may include up to an extra $32000 + possible jail time (penalties vary state to state & territories)

3/ Do vapers need to ensure that vendors have a copy of their prescription and that the vendor attaches a copy with the goods when ordering from overseas, or can you order form anywhere?

Yes, you must ensure a prescription copy is in or on the parcel you import that contains nicotine. Only order from vendors that will do this, also bearing in mind the chemical requirements mentioned in question 4.

4/ Do vapers have to be careful what ingredients are in the eLiquid when ordering from overseas, for example the chemicals used in certain flavours as well as nicotine levels?

Maximum nicotine level allowed with a prescription will be 100mg. 

When importing nicotine containing eLiquids you must check with the manufacturer that banned chemicals in eLiquids are not supplied as per the rules of the TGA. As found on p18 & 19 here>  https://www.tga.gov.au/sites/default/files/nicotine-vaping-products-and-vaping-devices_0.pdf

5/ Will vapers need to ensure products containing nicotine are in tamper proof packaging?

All nicotine containing eliquids must be supplied in child resistant packaging.

6/What is the highest nicotine level that is allowable to import?

100mg if specified on an Australian Doctors prescription.

7/ If vapers experience any unusual health symptoms from an imported product, what should they do?

Seek medical assistance immediately & also contact the TGA via their website.

8/ Will these new laws effect importing devices that contain nicotine or without nicotine?

It wont effect any devices not containing nicotine.

When nicotine eliquid is contained in any prefilled device you must also have a prescription and follow all the rules as per any nicotine eLiquid as discussed in previous questions and outlined by the rules of the TGA.

9/ Now that the TGA has classed nicotine in vaping for medicinal use, does that mean vapers can vape anywhere they feel, as you would with almost any other medicinal product?

No, vapers must still comply with state and territory laws of where they are permitted and not permitted to vape.

10/ Have medical practitioners been educated around the positive outcomes of using vapes as NRT devices or has it been swept under the carpet for more of the pharmaceutical options & are doctors going through training now?

Not all have no. You may have to help them by providing as much helpful information as possible to work out a viable solution with them to keep you from smoking.

11/ How will Nicotine strength / Quantity be approached?

The maximum strength that doctors can prescribe is 100mg with an agreed 3 month supply as agreed and prescribed by your doctor.

12/  Have GP's been educated as to the difference in quantity of nicotine purchased for diy vs premix?

Probably not, chances are they would have no idea, it will be up to you to help your doctor along with those sorts of details.

13/  Will Nicotine Salt prescriptions only be given when the patient explains they are in early stages of quitting smoking, or still require a high amount of Nicotine in their vape - in other words, if somebody prefers to vape Salts at Sub Ohm levels, will this be entertained or will they be dictated that freebase nicotine is their only suitability?

Again Doctors may be unfamiliar with those terms, you may just have to politely explain to your GP what you need to prevent you from returning to smoking.

14/  Will pharmacists be stocking nicotine? Even though they are against it, or will we they be still ordering Nicotine from overseas?

At this stage a limited range of Australian pharmacies will be selling nicotine however you may find they may not have stock on hand and will have to order it for you.

15/  Is there any talk of Nicotine prescriptions, falling under the PBS and therefore subsidised for the consumer, or similar? If so, what are the underlying out of pocket costs liable to be? If not subsided, why not? Wellbutrin etc are readily dished out and subsidised by PBS for smoking cessation purposes?

No Nicotine for vaping won’t be subsidised at this stage.

16/  Will a script be needed only to import after the changes, or will it also be needed if you have possession of nicotine from previously importing it?

You should have a prescription now, if you don’t have one, get one! It may not be heavily enforced now but going forward after October it will be!

17/ Do you know if there are any plans to tax prescription liquid nicotine at this stage?

Not at this stage, while it would be counterproductive to do so, it is possible that they might try to in the future.

18/  Will zero nicotine eliquid be effected?

No these regulations don’t apply to zero nicotine e Liquids.

19/  Will they treat for vaping as an option of last resort and try to force people to try Champix etc first? Will the script allow you to order as much as you want or only cover a limited amount?

In Australia Vaping is regarded as a second line option, in other words, you have tried everything else first. However, it is doubtful that if you haven’t tried champix or other NRT method you will be recommended to try that first if vaping is your first-choice option. Ultimately though, that is between you and your doctor to decide the best method that works for you. A doctor will only be able to supply what you need for up to 3 months.

20/  Will a doctor be permitted to write scripts indefinitely or at will there be a cut off point?

There is no limit for how long a doctor can prescribe nicotine, however that will be up to the discretion of the individual doctor.

21/  Who and how will the import of each individual's nicotine eliquid be policed ?

       Will our scripts be in some type of data base and with whom ? 

To the best known knowledge thus far there will be no known database where information will be shared with the government as it is a non PBS prescription.

Australian border force will be policing parcels containing nicotine and enforcing penalties. Penalties will be a fine of up to $220000.

You must ensure a copy of your prescription is with your order when supplied into Australia.

Ensure you adhere to the quantity limited by the prescription otherwise that may also constitute an offence.

It would also be a good idea to keep a copy of your prescription on you, on your phone.

22/  Will the use of various chemicals in eLiquid effect what can be supplied via prescription under the these new rules? Eg Diaceytl, Acetoin, Acetyl, Propinonal (aka Diketones)

When importing nicotine containing eLiquids you must check with the manufacturer that banned chemicals in eLiquids are not supplied as per the rules of the TGA. As found on p18 & 19 here>  https://www.tga.gov.au/sites/default/files/nicotine-vaping-products-and-vaping-devices_0.pdf

23/  Will vapers be subjected to state laws/penalties up to $45k & jail once they have obtained nicotine under the federal rules of TGO110?

No but if you import without a prescription or don’t comply with rules laid out in TGO110 you will also be susceptible to state penalties which may include up to an extra $32000 + possible jail time (penalties vary in the different state & territories) .

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Let’s Work Together

If you have any problems reaching a doctor and/or obtaining nicotine legally or have another question you aren't sure of I, or another experienced colleague can try and help you via the form below.

But, first see if you can obtain the answer by reading this link,  and if you can't find the answer please let us know via the form below. 

It's important to be able to record how many people may have an issue obtaining nicotine, no matter what the issue is, so I can assist in passing this information on to help advocate for better safe access to nicotine for vaping, because we know it just shouldn't be more difficult to safely obtain by adults than it is to obtain combustible tobacco products. 

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