An update on Mark Butler’s vaping ban

Posted on November 15, 2023 By Colin

THE HEALTH MINISTER is determined to introduce “the toughest vaping laws in the world” to tackle vaping, which he regards as a public health menace.

We are finally starting to get a clearer picture of the detail of Mark Butler’s plains. Some changes will require legislation and must pass through both houses of federal Parliament. Others are simply regulations that can just be mandated by the Health Minister.

The elephant in the room is the black market, which will continue to supply illegal products. The black market will go underground, prices will rise and criminal activity is certain to increase. The other unintended consequences of these changes is that some vapers going back to deadly smoking. This is already happening

Updated 30 December 2023


Legal vaping with or without nicotine will continue to require a prescription from a doctor or nurse practitioner. From 1 January 2024, all doctors and nurse practitioners will be allowed to prescribe nicotine without having to apply in advance for approval to prescribe.

Further training for health care professionals is proposed, but no details are available.

Product changes

These changes will apply from 1 March 2024.

1. Flavours

Only tobacco, menthol and mint flavours will be allowed.

2. Nicotine concentration limits

Still undecided. The likely limit will be 20mg/mL in line with the arbitrary limit set in the UK. However, even Simon Chapman recognizes this is too low and advises a 50mg/mL limit.

3. Packaging

All vape products will require pharmaceutical-like packaging with nicotine content displayed. Bright colours and appealing names banned. Graphic warnings may be required but no information is available on this (note that some media reports recently said this was already legislated. However these reports are incorrect). TGA to produce upgraded standards.

4. Standards

The current TGO 110 standards will be upgraded with a larger list of allowed ingredients and more robust quality and safety standards.

All products for pharmacy sale must be submitted to the TGA to confirm compliance with the standards, before being imported or marketed.

Specific products

1. Disposables

From 1 January 2024, the importation of all single-use, disposable vapes (with or without nicotine) will be banned, even if you have a prescription. Of course, the vast majority of disposables are already banned and it remains to be seen if a further ban will make any difference.

2. Closed, pre-filled pod devices

From 1 March 2024, it will be an offence to import pre-filled devices and pre-filled pods from overseas, even if you have a prescription. They will only be legally available from pharmacies, with a prescription.

3. Refillable devices

From 1 March 2024, it will be an offence to import refillable devices for personal use. Refillable devices will only be available from pharmacies - a prescription is not required. General retailers and vape shops will not be able to sell these devices.

4. E-liquid (for refillables)

From 1 March 2024, it will be an offence to import e-liquid for personal use, even if you have a prescription. Only supplies intended for sale from pharmacies will be permitted.

Importers will require a customs licence and permit from the Office of Drug Control. Only e-liquids that meet that new standards will be permitted.

Penalties for the illegal importation or supply of counterfeit or unapproved therapeutic goods is up to five years’ imprisonment and/or a financial penalty of up to $1.25 million. A measly $25 million additional resourcing has been allocated to the ABF for the next two years to assist with interception.

Advertising restrictions

Vaping products will be brought in line with tobacco products.

Support for quitting

Support will be provided for vapers who want to quit. No details provided yet.

International travellers

Travellers visiting Australia will be allowed to carry a small quantity of vapes with them for personal use.


The Minister has announced that legislation is being prepared to ban the manufacturing of vaping products in Australia.



New regulation of vapes starting January 2024, 15 December 2023

Reforms to the regulation of vapes

Vaping hub

Vapes: information for prescribers, 15 December 2023

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