In recognition of the harm caused by vaping, but also its legitimate therapeutic role in assisting patients to quit smoking, from 1 January 2024 the importation into Australia of disposable vapes is prohibited, irrespective of nicotine content or therapeutic claims. Disposable vapes imported into Australia before 1 January 2024 may still be supplied, though vapes containing nicotine may only be supplied in pharmacies to a patient with a prescription. Additional changes have been made to make it easier for patients to obtain a prescription for vapes for smoking cessation.
This will allow legitimate retailers of disposable vapes to run down their stocks prior to the imposition of additional changes. From 1 March 2024, the importation of all non-therapeutic vapes will be prohibited. In addition, new requirements and standards will apply for importation of therapeutic vapes.
The changes will not criminalise vapers in any way. Personal possession and use of vapes is not criminalised by the Australian Government. However, State based laws do apply to where vaping is permitted, in line with bans on smoking cigarettes.
In NSW, smoking and vaping are banned in all enclosed public areas and certain outdoor public areas. It is also an offence to smoke or vape in a car with children under the age of 16 years in the vehicle. NSW Health Inspectors can issue cautions or on the spot fines of $300 to people who break the smoking bans.
The NSW Government provides “No Smoking means No Vaping” posters for NSW businesses, which are free from NSW Health.