Changes in Prescriptions and Access: Understanding why your script for Personal Importation Scheme no longer works to obtain vapes in Australia

Changes in Prescriptions and Access: Understanding why your script for Personal Importation Scheme no longer works to obtain vapes in Australia

Navigating the recent regulatory changes regarding vaping products in Australia may have become frustrating for those accustomed to sourcing such items from overseas. If you're finding yourself puzzled as to why your previous prescription isn't facilitating the acquisition of vaping supplies from Australian pharmacies, let's delve into the rationale behind these adjustments. 


Previously, under the Personal Importation Scheme, Australians could lawfully procure vaping products from international sources. This framework permitted the importation of unapproved vaping merchandise for personal usage, provided individuals adhered to specific guidelines.

Under this system, individuals were restricted to acquiring a three-month stock at a time, by the manufacturer's recommended dosage. Moreover, for certain vaping products classified as Schedule 4 or 8, individuals necessitated a prescription issued by an Australian doctor.

However, this year's regulatory amendments have ushered in notable changes. These alterations are aimed at enhancing the safety of vaping practices and safeguarding public health, while still ensuring accessibility to vaping products under medical supervision.

Here's a breakdown of the key modifications:

  1. Ceased Personal Importation: Since March 1, 2024, the personal importation of vaping products from overseas has been prohibitedEven with a prescription, direct ordering from foreign countries is no longer permissible.
  2. Stringent Regulations: Wholesalers involved in importing or manufacturing vaping products are now required to notify the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) beforehand to confirm compliance with specified standards.
  3. Revised Prescription ProtocolTo obtain vaping products in Australia, prescriptions must adhere to local regulations and receive approval from the TGA. It's essential to note that previous prescriptions utilised for importing vaping products are inadequate for purchasing vapes from Australian pharmacies.

Key Distinctions in Australian Vaping Prescriptions: 

  • Adherence to Local Regulations: Prescriptions for vaping products in Australia must comply with domestic standards to ensure safety and quality.
  • Exclusive Availability at Pharmacies: Vapes containing nicotine can only be retailed in pharmacies by licensed pharmacists or individuals authorised to dispense medications under state or territory laws.

As regulatory frameworks evolve regarding vaping, it's imperative to familiarise yourself with the prerequisites for acquiring vaping products lawfully in Australia.

Here's what Australians seeking access to vaping products need to do:

  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you intend to utilise vaping as a smoking cessation aid, engage in a discussion with your doctor or nurse to obtain a prescription tailored to your needs.
  • Stay Informed: Remain vigilant regarding any updates or alterations in vaping regulations and prescription requirements to ensure compliance.
  • Purchase from Licensed Pharmacies: Acquire your vaping supplies from authorised pharmacies, where adherence to regulations ensures product safety and legality.

As Australia fortifies its regulations concerning vaping importation and sales, understanding prescription protocols is crucial. By adhering to local regulations and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, you can continue accessing vaping products lawfully, without contravening regulations. Should you require assistance with smoking and vaping cessation or nicotine addiction management, healthcare professionals and resources such as Quitline and Quit Now websites are readily available.