This article will help you answer the question “How to get a nicotine prescription in Australia?” and provide you with information on nicotine regulation in Australia. You’ll also learn how to import nicotine into the country if necessary, typically done by importing nicotine e-liquids.
Do I Need A Prescription To Vape Nicotine In Australia?
Yes. From October 1, 2021, Australians could no longer purchase nicotine e-cigarettes or nicotine vaping products from overseas websites without a valid doctor’s prescription.
Nicotine was already a Schedule C substance in Australia that required a prescription, but until this point, the authorities had not enforced the law.
The new stricter regulations include fines of up $22,200 per import item, plus 1000 penalty points, which could result in prison for two months without a doctor’s prescription.
Finding a Doctor To Issue Your Prescription
In Australia, not every general practitioner is willing to prescribe nicotine to those interested in quitting smoking through vaping. However, things are improving with the change in legislation and improved guidance from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
Having said that, it’s a good idea to try your local GP first. Alternatively, ATHRA has a list of doctors in each state sympathetic to the benefits of vaping and is more likely to issue prescriptions to those in need.
When you visit the doctor, they’ll ask about past attempts at quitting and how much you smoke(ed). They’ll also keep track of that information to see if there’s a pattern or improvement in smoking habits over time.
The RACGP has issued all GPs with ‘Supporting Smoking Cessation’ guidelines, stipulating that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes should not be considered a first-line treatment for smoking cessation.
However, suppose someone has tried unsuccessfully to quit using approved therapies and is still motivated to stop smoking. In that case, it may make sense to recommend using a nicotine-containing e-cigarette as an intervention.
So be prepared to confirm that you have previously tried nicotine gum or patches and intend to use vaping to quit nicotine completely.
Can I Get A Prescription Issued Online?
Yes. A new service called Quit Doctors is offering online consultations for $79. (Use the code ‘FRIEND10’ to save 10%)
After completing the online form, an Australian doctor will contact you to review your smoking cessation needs within one business day. If a prescription is deemed appropriate, it will be sent to you, along with a letter for your GP. They also state they can forward a copy of your prescription to an overseas supplier (See below why this may be important).
If Quit Clinics doctors cannot help, a full refund is available.
Another similar service is mynicotine.com.au, offering nicotine prescriptions to smokers for $95.
Can I Still Order Nicotine Vape Juice From Overseas?
Yes. With a valid prescription, you can order three months’ supply at one time and a maximum of 15 months’ supply in the course of 12 months.
The TGA state that you should include a copy of your prescription with any package that contains medication. This is to ensure that Australian Border Force officials don’t confiscate your package. However, it remains to be seen how this will play out in reality.
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Can I Import Undiluted Nicotine To Add To My Own Vape Juice?
Yes. The maximum nicotine concentration allowed is 100mg per ml
The TGA has a set of quality standards for unregistered vaping products that, if met, can be imported under the TGA’s personal importation scheme.
The Therapeutic Goods (Standard for Nicotine Vaping Products (TGO 110) Order 2021 states that –
A nicotine vaping product must contain nicotine as the only active ingredient and:
(a) where the nicotine is in base form—the base form concentration of nicotine must be not more than 100 mg/mL; or
(b) where the nicotine is in salt form—the equivalent base form concentration of nicotine must be not more than 100 mg/mL.
What Do I Need To Get A Nicotine Prescription?
To get a nicotine prescription from a doctor, you will need to present some form of identification (such as your driver’s license) to prove you are over 18.
In conclusion, nicotine prescriptions are becoming easier, and they will be even more widely available with time.
Unfortunately, the authorities still fail to recognise the benefits of vaping and have added an extra step and expense for Australians who wish to quit smoking. But It goes with saying we highly recommend getting your prescription in place to stay on the right side of the law.
If you would like to learn more about nicotine and Australia’s new legislation, check out the following resources: