On 21 December 2020, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced a decision that, from 1 October 2021, consumers need a valid prescription to import nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine. This means that when a consumer purchases these products online from an overseas supplier, they legally require a prescription from an Australian doctor.
There has been a significant increase in the use of nicotine e-cigarettes and other nicotine vaping products by young people in Australia and in many other countries. There is evidence that nicotine vaping products act as a 'gateway' to smoking in youth and exposure to nicotine in adolescents may have long-term consequences for brain development.
This decision balances the need to prevent adolescents and young adults from taking-up nicotine vaping products while allowing current smokers to access these products for smoking cessation with appropriate medical advice.