E-cigarettes are devices that deliver an aerosol by heating an answer that users breathe in. The aerosol is often brought up as ‘vapour’. There are new e-cigarette laws in Australia. Using an e-cigarette is usually called ‘vaping’. E-cigarettes are battery‑operated and should appear as if cigarettes, cigars, pipes, pens or memory sticks.
The liquids employed in e-cigarettes may contain a spread of toxic chemicals including those that add flavour sometimes contain nicotine whether or not labelled as ‘nicotine free’.
Did you know e-cigarettes may be known as:
- vape pens
- personal vaporisers
- electronic cigarettes e-cigs electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)
- electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS)
- alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS)
Are e-cigarettes safe?
It’s complicated. While scientists are still learning about e-cigarettes, they currently do not consider them 100% safe. Hazardous substances are found in e-cigarette liquids and within the aerosol produced by e-cigarettes, including these known cancer-causing agents: formaldehyde acetaldehyde acrolein. Some chemicals in e-cigarette aerosols can even cause DNA damage.
E-cigarettes don’t produce the tar produced by conventional cigarettes which is the main reason behind carcinoma. However, many scientists are concerned that using e-cigarettes could increase the risk of lung disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Research also shows a strong association between the utilization of e-cigarettes by non-smoking youth and future smoking.
Many e-cigarette users appear to be continuing to use conventional tobacco products at an identical time (dual users). However, this is not a good way to improve health. Dual users could also expose themselves to even higher levels of toxicants than those who solely use conventional tobacco products.
It may be hard to assess the protection of e-cigarettes and liquids because
- there is a wide range sold,
- their labels are often incomplete or incorrect,
- users can change the liquid they use in their e-cigarette
- the way the device operates many diseases (such as cancer) take a protracted time to develop.
Can e-cigarettes facilitate your quitting smoking? Currently, Australia’s point of view is that there’s insufficient evidence to market the employment of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. There are new e-cigarette laws in Australia.
If you would like additional support to quit, the foremost successful approach is behavioural support combined with medicines (such as TGA-approved nicotine patches, gums and lozenges) and follow-up.
E-cigarettes containing nicotine aren’t first-line treatments for smoking cessation. If you’ve got tried to quit smoking using TGA approved medicines and been unsuccessful, speak to your doctor about whether or not e-cigarettes containing nicotine are an acceptable option.
There are new e-cigarette laws for Australia. In Australia, you want to have a prescription to get e‑cigarettes that contain nicotine.
Are e-cigarettes legal?
Since 1 October 2021, Australians have needed a prescription to legally access nicotine-containing e‑cigarette products. This includes importing these products from overseas.
The rules governing e-cigarettes in Australia are complicated and vary by jurisdiction (refer to Appendix 1, available online only). When there is a conflict between state and territory laws in Australia, Commonwealth law takes precedence. With the exception of New South Wales, most Australian states and territories adhere to the Commonwealth Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP). 15 In the case of nicotine, New South Wales has created its own NSW Poisons List, which is based on the SUSMP.
Except when used as assistance in the cessation from tobacco smoking in formulations designed for oromucosal or transdermal application, nicotine for human consumption is included in the SUSMP as a prescription-only drug in the schedule 4 (S4) classification (eg nicotine patches, gum or mouthsprays). Nicotine is classified as a toxin in the schedule 7 (S7) classification, with the exception of preparations for human therapeutic use or tobacco processed and packed for smoking. If nicotine used in e-cigarettes is not considered as a therapeutic good, it will be classified as S7. Importation is unrestricted, but taking possession of or using imported nicotine may be illegal under state and territory legislation.
Manufacturing, selling, or supplying nicotine as a S7 poison without a licence or particular authorisation is illegal in all Australian states and territory. This means that no nicotine-laced e-cigarettes can be sold in any Australian state or territory. In Queensland, there have been many documented cases of people being charged with illegally supplying liquid nicotine for use in e-cigarettes.
According to a recent clarification from the Federal Department of Health, nicotine can be imported by an individual for use as an unapproved therapeutic good (such as a smoking cessation aid), but the importer must have a prescription from an Australian registered medical practitioner and can only import three months’ supply at a time. The total quantity imported in a 12-month period cannot exceed 15 months’ supply of the product at the manufacturer’s maximum dose. The majority of today’s consumers are unlikely to go to a doctor for a prescription for products that are readily available on the internet. Individuals’ purchases and possession of nicotine are not restricted by Commonwealth legislation, except for importation, which is permitted under Commonwealth law.
The Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Act currently does not regulate non-nicotine e-cigarettes as a therapeutic good. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has yet to approve any e-cigarette for registration as a medical device. The TGA would be notified if the packaging of e-cigarettes included a claim concerning therapeutic benefit. What are your thoughts on e-cigarette laws in Australia?