E-cigarettes (vaping)

E-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are battery-operated devices designed to look and feel similar to cigarettes or cigars, but they don't burn tobacco.

What is an e-cigarette?

E-cigarettes heat liquids to produce a vapour that looks like smoke, which users inhale. Using an e-cigarette is often called 'vaping'.

The liquid solutions contain chemicals and sometimes appealing-sounding flavourings, such as chocolate, bubblegum and fruity flavours.

E-cigarettes might be shaped like cigarettes, cigars, pens or other common items.

Are e-cigarettes legal?

Under existing state and territory laws in Australia, the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine to someone without a doctor’s prescription is illegal. But this does not guarantee all e-cigarettes sold legally are nicotine-free.

The possession or use of these products without a prescription is illegal in all states and territories except South Australia.

From 1 October 2021, importing nicotine e-cigarette products and refills from overseas websites without a valid doctor’s prescription will also be illegal.

You can legally buy e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine. It is illegal, however, for manufacturers or retailers to make any therapeutic claims about e-cigarettes. For example, they can't claim that e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking.

It is also against the law in most states and territories to use e-cigarettes in legislated smoke-free areas.

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