What we need to know about Nicotine as of the 1st of October 2021.
16 Sep. 21
Here's a quick FAQ
IS NICOTINE BEING BANNED IN AUSTRALIA?
CAN I STILL IMPORT & USE NICOTINE IN AUSTRALIA
Yes, as long as you have a prescription from your GP from 1 OCT. 2021
WHO DO I PRESENT THE PRESCRIPTION TO?
While it is unclear how this new law will be enforced, we don't believe that retailers selling nicotine products overseas will ask you for a prescription. We believe that the Australia Border Force will be in charge of attaining your prescription.
As of the 1st of October 2021, there will be new laws surfacing involving the importation of nicotine products into Australia. Hopefully you find this blog helpful in understanding these new laws.
In hindsight, you MUST have a prescription of an Australia doctor to be able to import nicotine e-liquid legally from 1 October 2021. Failure to do so will incur fines of up to $222,000 or jail terms.
You can also now buy nicotine e-liquid from participating pharmacist but you must acquire a script from a participating doctor (currently, from the date of writing this blog, we have no idea who a participating doctor or pharmacist of this nicotine program are).
Please note: This new law is not limited to just nicotine e-liquid. This law extends to any product that contains nicotine, such as single use vape pods, disposable vapes,
Importing Nicotine E-liquid
As of 1 Oct. 2021, you must get a prescription from your doctor in order to import nicotine.
To be honest, it’s really not worth taking the risk of not getting a prescription from your doctor. You run the risk of getting a fine and having your nicotine consequently destroy.
Here are the steps we recommend you follow when ordering nicotine online.
1. Visit your General Practitioner (GP) for a nicotine prescription.
You can attain a prescription for nicotine from any authorise GP. It is up to the GP’s discretion on whether or not they think you need nicotine though. Otherwise, ATHRA has a list of GPs you can see to get a nicotine prescription. Click here to see ATHRA’s list.
Prescriptions are valid for up to 12 months. Each prescription will usually get you 3 months’ supply.
Please note: Prescriptions must be acquired before ordering nicotine e-liquid online
2. Have a copy of your prescription electronically stored
While it is unclear how this new law will be enforced, we don't believe that retailers selling nicotine products overseas will ask you for a prescription. They can only assume that you already have one. We believe that the Australia Border Force will be in charge of checking your prescription.
So it's handy to keep an electronic copy of you prescription so that when you are contacted about your nicotine. You can send it through swiftly to not delay delivery times.
Please note: GPs cannot backdate visitations and prescription dates (it is illegal to do so). If you prescription is dated after your order date, then your order is deemed illegally made. Your nicotine will be disposed of and you may incur a fine.
3. E-liquid compliance by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
Be cautious of what you order. With the prescription from your doctor, this allows you to order nicotine e-liquid only and nothing else. Your order of nicotine must be compliant with the Standard for Nicotine Vaping Products (TGO110). More information can be found here.
In hindsight, your e-liquid must comply with the following:
- Apart from the nicotine stimulate, e-liquids must not have other active ingredients such as caffeine, THC, stimulants or vitamins
- Must not contain acetoin, benzaldehyde, cinnamaldehyde, diacetyl, diethylene glycol, ethylene glycol, pentane-2,3-dione, vitamin E acetate
- Must not exceed a maximum of 100mg/ml or 10% nicotine and needs to be clearly labelled.
4. Keep an electronic copy of your prescription with you at all times.
It is an offence to vape nicotine with a prescription. If you vape in public, you may be asked for a prescription. Failure to do so may incur a fine and jail terms. How this will be policed is very hard to say. But to save yourself the headache. Just get the prescription.
As of 1 October 2021, you can now order nicotine from participating pharmacists. Note that pharmacists do not keep nicotine on hand. Nicotine is order on demand. Therefore, the range of nicotine e-liquids available from pharmacies will be very limited in range.
The steps to purchase nicotine from a pharmacist is similar to ordering your own nicotine. The plus side to getting nicotine from a pharmacist is that your will be 100% sure you’re getting nicotine compliant with the TGO 110. The down side is the lack of selection available.
It is entirely up to your where you would like to get your nicotine e-liquid from.
You can find out more about purchasing nicotine from pharmacists here.
This blog is an adaption of Dr Colin Mendelsohn’s blog. You find out more about Dr Mendelsohn and the great work he has done to help advocate vaping as tobacco harm reduction in this link here.
Further information can be found about the laws changes at the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website.