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, nicotine and flavourings.
Electronic cigarettes are smoking products
Under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (the Act), electronic cigarettes (regardless of whether they contain nicotine or not) and related products are smoking products and subject to the Queensland smoking laws.
This includes that electronic cigarettes cannot be:
- used in no-smoking indoor and outdoor places
- sold to children under 18 years of age
- advertised, promoted or displayed at retail outlets
- provided for sale in a vending machine.
Electronic cigarettes and electronic cigarette products containing nicotine
In Queensland, electronic cigarettes and electronic cigarette products containing nicotine are illegal unless on prescription and supplied from a pharmacist or through Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) processes.
Please note that currently no electronic cigarette products containing nicotine have been approved as a therapeutic good by the TGA for sale in Australia. These products are considered ‘unapproved medicines’ and have not been assessed by the TGA for safety, quality and efficacy.
In Queensland, nicotine is regulated by the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and supporting regulations (Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021 and Medicines and Poisons (Poisons and Prohibited Substances Regulation 2021). Nicotine is regulated on the basis that it is classified as a 'Dangerous Poison' under Schedule 7 of the federal ‘Poisons Standard’, except when included in Schedule 4 for human use.
The TGA website provides more information for:
- people seeking to access unapproved electronic cigarette products containing nicotine for human use
- pharmacists and
- sponsors, wholesalers and manufacturers.
Electronic cigarettes or electronic cigarette products containing nicotine can be safely disposed of at a community pharmacy or a local public health unit.
To report illegal sale or possession of electronic cigarettes or electronic cigarette products containing nicotine, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).