Are e-Cigarettes Legal in Australia?

Electronic cigarettes are battery powered cigarette-shaped vaporising devices which simulate the experience of tobacco smoking. A liquid often called “e-liquid” is loaded into the e-cigarette cartridge, which heats it to a vapour to be inhaled by the user. In Australia, it is illegal to buy, possess or sell e-cigarettes containing nicotine e-liquid, which makes the case for e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids a controversial one.

On the one hand, some argue that inhaling vapour, as opposed to smoke, reduces the damaging effects of smoke on the lungs and therefore will reduce the risk of lung disease. Added to this argument is the elimination of many chemicals which a smoker would normally inhale when smoking tobacco. So the argument maintains that smoking nicotine vapour, while it still contains addictive nicotine, might be far better for lung health.

On the other hand, there is a strong case to be made that making nicotine “vaping” normal and accessible can only damage Australia’s progression towards a nicotine-free society. Whatever the case, there is a definite lack of evidence that e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking. And while they are less harmful than smoking tobacco, they are not harmless. Medical experts warn that vials of e-liquid illegally ordered online could contain lethal doses of nicotine, especially for children.

E-cigarettes are being marketed as quit smoking devices, with some sales websites even stating that the importation of nicotine for personal use is legal in Australia. This is untrue.


It is illegal to buy, import or sell electronic cigarettes containing nicotine in Australia. It is also illegal to import nicotine liquid.


If you are looking for a method of smoking cessation that will help you to gradually reduce the amount of nicotine you consume, other methods are recommended. Proven safe methods such as nicotine replacement products, including nicotine patches, can be easily and legally purchased. In some cases, medicated smoking cessation treatments can be prescribed by your doctor. The first step toward quitting smoking for good is to speak to your doctor or Quitline professional to discover your smoking triggers and determine which method will work best for you.

If you need help discovering your smoking triggers or finding a smoking cessation method that is right for you, visit quit.org.au. To read more about medicated smoking cessation treatments, click here. For information about nicotine patches, read this article. And for further information about nicotine replacement products, such as lozenges, gum, mouth spray and inhalators, click here. Inogen Oxygen does not promote the use of e-cigarettes.