Electronic cigarettes are also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, vape pens or personal vapourisers. They heat liquid, which usually contains nicotine, into a fine vapour for inhalation into the lungs. Products vary widely in design and operation, but typically consist of a battery, heating element, and a cartridge or refillable tank containing substances such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, liquid nicotine and flavourings.
New laws from 1 January 2015
The Queensland Parliament has amended the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (Tobacco Act) to capture electronic cigarettes as smoking products. Electronic cigarettes will now be subject to the same laws as regular cigarettes, from 1 January 2015.
This will mean that devices commonly known as electronic cigarettes cannot be:
- used in existing no-smoking indoor and outdoor places
- sold to children under 18 years of age
- advertised, promoted or displayed at retail outlets.
Liquid nicotine is illegal
Electronic cigarettes containing liquid nicotine are illegal in Queensland. It is an offence under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (PDF, 1 MB)(HDPR), for a person to manufacture, obtain, possess, prescribe, dispense, sell, advertise, use or destroy nicotine, unless the person is specifically authorised or holds an approval under the HDPR. The maximum penalty is $9,108.
Electronic cigarette containing liquid nicotine can be safely disposed of at a community pharmacy or a local public health unit.
To report the sale or possession of electronic cigarettes containing liquid nicotine, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).