Navigating The New Rules For Nicotine Vaping For Australian Doctors

As of 1 October 2021, Australians seeking access to nicotine vaping products will need a doctor’s prescription.  This aligns with current domestic restrictions under State and Territory law that prohibit the supply of nicotine containing e-cigarettes in Australia without a valid medical prescription.

This decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has been created to prevent young adults and adolescents from taking-up nicotine e-cigarettes while still permitting current smokers access to these products to help them stop smoking on their doctor’s advice.

The decision is quite timely as there has been a significant increase in the use of nicotine e-cigarettes by young people in Australia as well as across the globe. Many believe that nicotine e-cigarettes are addictive and have long-term consequences for brain development.

Doctors medical indemnity insurance

What You Can Expect And Issues You Are Likely To Face

The RACGP – The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommend the following- 

  • All people who smoke should be offered brief advice to quit smoking, and referral to telephone call-back counselling services should be offered to all people who smoke.
  • Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are not first-line treatments for smoking cessation – a range of alternative treatments are recommended first.
  • For people who have tried to achieve smoking cessation with approved pharmacotherapies but failed, and who are still motivated to quit smoking and have brought up e-cigarette usage with their healthcare practitioner, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes may be a reasonable intervention to recommend.  This needs to be preceded by an evidence-informed shared decision-making process, whereby the patient is aware of the following:
    • no tested and approved e-cigarette products are available
    • the long-term health effects of vaping are unknown
    • possession of nicotine-containing e-liquid without a prescription is illegal
    • in order to maximise possible benefit and minimise risk of harms, only short-term use is recommended
    • dual use (i.e. with continued tobacco smoking) needs to be avoided.

Tego Insurance Is Making Sure Our Doctors And Healthcare Facilities Are Up To Date.

We are Australian medical indemnity insurance providers and cover your practice with medical indemnity insurance, medical malpractice insurance, doctors indemnity insurance, gp medical indemnity insurance,, medical practice insurance, and more. If you are a health practitioner with Tego, we offer 24/7 medico-legal advice and support in regards to what you need to know about nicotine vaping products and the practice implications of the scheduling changes.

This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitutes legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. All content on this page has been written in a generic way, and has not been presented with any knowledge of your personal objectives or financial needs.