Vaping without nicotine is very rare from a global perspective and millions of people around the world and especially in other western countries have the option to pop down to their local vape shop and legally purchase e-liquid containing nicotine. In most cases the nicotine e-liquid is sold under regulated conditions to ensure e-liquid quality and consumer safety.
Recently there has been lots of new restrictions and regulations placed on the e-cigarette industry throughout Europe, the UK and the USA. However, these restrictions are imposed on markets where nicotine e-liquid is already being sold legally and they are only rules and restrictions on the quality and manufacture of products, they are not a prohibition on devices and nicotine e-liquid like what we have here in Australia
Here in Australia our first priority is to try our best to engage with our local MP (member of parliament) to try and make nicotine more easily accessible for the broader community.
Although this could change, currently due to the fact that nicotine e-liquid is not registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration it is therefore unlawful by default in Australia (unless specifically approved, authorised or licenced) to possess or sell nicotine e-liquid due to controls on nicotine that apply in each state and territory as it is classified as a ‘Schedule 7- Dangerous Poison’ under the Commonwealth Poisons Standard(10).
However many Australians import nicotine under the Personal Importation Scheme which allows you to import a 3 month supply at a time (at the maximum dose recommended by the manufacturer) of unapproved therapeutic goods into Australia without any approval required by the TGA provided that:
- the goods are for your own treatment or the treatment of your immediate family; and
- you do not supply (sell or give) the medicine to any other person; and
- where possible, you keep the medicines or medical devices in their original packaging with any dispensing labels intact; and
- the goods are not restricted under Australian Customs controls or quarantine rules and the goods do not contain a controlled substance; and
- the goods are not injections that contain material of human or animal origin (except insulin); and
- the total quantity of the goods imported within a 12 month period does not exceed 15 months supply of the goods (for medicines, at the maximum dose recommended by the manufacturer); and
- if the goods are medicines in Schedule 4 or 8 of the Poisons Standard a prescription from an Australian-registered medical practitioner is held for the medicines.