Department of Health

Australian Government Vaping reforms

The Australian Government has announced its intention to take strong action to address vaping in Australia, by introducing a comprehensive range of reforms.

These reforms will result in significant changes to the regulatory requirements for the importation, manufacture and supply of vapes in Australia, irrespective of nicotine content or therapeutic claims.

For the latest information on these reforms please visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration Vaping HubExternal Link .

What are e-cigarettes (vapes)?

E-cigarettes simulate smoking (called vaping) without burning any tobacco. A battery powered device heats liquid into an aerosol which is inhaled into the lungs.

The liquid inside the e-cigarette contains a complex mix of chemicals including nicotine and toxic chemicals including, but not limited to, nickel, tin, benzene, arsenic, chlorine and lead.

E-cigarettes are often mislabelled, meaning that they main contain nicotine, even if it is not listed.

What are the health harms?

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Statement on Electronic CigarettesExternal Link summarises that:

  • E-cigarettes may expose users to chemicals and toxins that are harmful to health.
  • Health authorities should act to minimise harm to users and bystanders until evidence of safety, quality and efficacy can be produced.

Potential harmful impacts on health of e-cigarette use include:

  • nicotine poisoning, addiction and overdose
  • lung injuries
  • trauma and burns from faulty parts
  • nicotine addiction and overdose
  • uptake of smoking, particularly by young people and non-smokers.

For information on the health impacts of e-cigarette use visit the Better Health Channel E-cigarettes and vaping page.

E-cigarettes, vaping and young people

Parents, Carers and Influential adults


Young people

E-liquid safety around children

If you use an e-cigarette:

  • keep it where children cannot see it or reach it when you are not using it, lock it away
  • do not use or discard your e-cigarette in front of children.

If you are worried a child has swallowed liquid from an e-cigarette, ring the Victorian Poisons Information CentreExternal Link on 13 11 26 immediately.

If they are very unwell, have collapsed, sopped breathing, are fitting or having an anaphylactic reaction, ring triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

For further information visit the Better Health Channel E-liquids for use in e-cigarettesExternal Link page.

Regulation of e-cigarette products

The Tobacco Act 1987 regulates all e-cigarettes (nicotine and nicotine-free) in the same way as tobacco products.

This means that e-cigarettes cannot be used in areas where smoking is banned, cannot be displayed at retailer outlets, and cannot be sold to people under 18 years of age, as well as being subject to other restrictions.

For a comprehensive list of places where smoking and vaping is prohibited, visit the Smoke-free and vape-free areas page.

The sale of e-cigarette products by retailers is prohibited in Victoria under the Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. For information on how to report suspected non-compliance visit the Vapes: information for retailers | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)External Link page.

Further information for retailers and how to comply with these laws, is available on the page.


In Victoria, the Tobacco Act 1987 prohibits the supply of vaping products to persons under 18 years of age. This includes a registered pharmacist supplying (dispensing) a vaping product on a prescription issued by a register medical practitioner or registered nurse practitioner.

Further information for pharmacists is available via the Therapeutic Goods Administration websiteExternal Link .

Whilst the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 and the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulation 2017 authorises a registered pharmacist to supply a Schedule 4 product on a prescription issued by a registered medical practitioner or registered nurse practitioner, this authorisation does not override the prohibition of supply of vaping products to persons under 18 years of age under the Tobacco Act 1987 in Victoria.

Using e-cigarettes to quit smoking

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)External Link has not approved any e-cigarette products as a medicine to help people quit smoking. This is because the quality and safety of e-cigarettes has not yet been thoroughly tested, and it is not clear whether they are actually helpful for people trying to quit.

There are established pathways for consumers to legally access nicotine vaping products, with a valid prescription from a medical or nurse practitioner. For more information visit the Therapeutic Good Administration, Vapes: information for patientsExternal Link .

There are also other proven safe and effective options to help people to quit smoking such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) including patches, gums, lozenges, mouth spray, inhalators, and some prescription medicines. For more information visit Quit Victoria, Nicotine Replacement Therapy: frequently asked questionsExternal Link .

'No smoking or vaping' signage

Visit the Resources and factsheets page for further information and to access free PDF copies.

Support to quit vaping

If you are thinking about quitting smoking or vaping, needing help to stay on track, or to help others with quitting, you can call Quitline on 13 78 48 or visit Link .

Reviewed 16 July 2024


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