Vaping and the law

Australian Government announcements on vaping

September 2023

The NSW Government has recently announced it is committing $6.8 million over 3 years to invest in a crackdown on the sale of illegal vapes and increase for support for young people who are addicted to vaping. Read the full announcement linked below:

25 September 2023 Media Release The Premier, Minister for Health – Crackdown on illegal vape sellers in NSW

In summary, the announcement outlined:

Ongoing work by NSW Health has highlighted how important it is that further action is taken on the sale of illegal vapes, and provisions are made to support young people who are addicted to vaping.

This investment will include:

  • $4.3 million over the next 3 years to bolster compliance and enforcement to ensure the state meets responsibilities for retail, wholesale, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical controls on vaping products.
  • $2.5 million over the next 12 months to increase services to help young people quit vaping including a new digital platform, enhancements to the iCanQuit platform and an online learning module for youth services across the state.

May 2023

The Australian Government announced groundbreaking reforms to reduce the significant damage caused by vaping through stronger legislation, enforcement, education and support. Read the full announcement linked below:

2 May 2023 Media Release Minister for Health and Aged Care – Taking Action on Smoking and Vaping

In summary the announcement outlined:

The 2023–24 Budget will include $737 million to fund a number of measures to protect Australians against the harm caused by tobacco and vaping products.

These measures complement the development of new proposed national tobacco control legislation first announced by the Government in November 2022.

Following public consultation led by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in December 2022, the Government is proposing stronger regulation and enforcement of all e-cigarettes, including new controls on their importation, contents and packaging.

Changes to vaping regulations will include:

  • Banning the sale of all single use disposable e-cigarettes
  • Introducing minimum quality standards on certain flavours, colours and ingredients and reducing allowable nicotine content
  • Raising public awareness about the health impacts of e-cigarettes
  • Prohibiting advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of e-cigarettes
  • Monitoring and preventing illegal importation and supply of non-prescription e-cigarettes in Australia.


Current regulations

Know the facts about vaping regulations. The North Coast Youth Vaping Taskforce has developed a factsheet to explain e-cigarette regulations.

The law

For current law

Fast facts:

  • Adults can buy e-cigarettes that DO NOT contain nicotine
  • E-cigarettes and e-liquids containing nicotine are a prescription only medicine (over 18 only)
  • It is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under 18
  • It is illegal to sell e-cigarettes containing nicotine to anyone (including online sales). 

Prescription of e-cigarettes (over 18 years)

Vapes containing nicotine, including nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine can only be supplied in Australia with a prescription. All vapes containing nicotine are regulated as prescription medicines under the therapeutic goods framework so can only be supplied in pharmacy settings.

It is unlawful for retailers such as tobacconists, vape shops and convenience stores, to sell vapes containing nicotine, even to customers with a prescription.

Nicotine replacement therapies included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (such as patches, lozenges, chews and gums) do not require a prescription and continue to be available from pharmacies and some retail outlets.

For more information about the prescription of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, check out the TGA Vaping Hub


  • Any retail store selling e-cigarettes that contain nicotine, or selling e-cigarettes to minors (under 18) can be reported here
  • Individuals selling e-cigarettes can be reported to Police or Crimestoppers

Vape free areas

  • It is illegal to use vapes where you can’t smoke cigarettes
  • This includes inside a car with a person under 16 years of age, restaurants and other dining areas.

Poisons Information Line

  • If you think someone has been poisoned by liquid nicotine please call the Poisons Information Centre on 131126
  • Call 000 if it is an emergency
  • Keep vapes away from children and pets – nicotine can be fatal.
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