Here in Australia, you need a medical prescription to legally import nicotine e-cigarettes and vaping pods into Australia for your own use.
This is a legal requirement, and you can be asked to show your prescription to the Australian Border Force before your vaping products will be released by Customs for delivery to you.
Finding a supportive Doctor
Before now, finding a doctor who understands the benefits of vaping over smoking and is prepared to prescribe nicotine has been challenging for many people.
Fortunately, this is starting to change with both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) now publicly supporting vaping as means to quit smoking. (More info on this below.)
List of supportive Australian Doctors
The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) has a growing list of doctors who are available to assess your suitability for vaping and can provide your prescription if it is appropriate.
ATHRA’s list of doctors includes the fees and contact details for doctors in each state. Some doctors require face-to-face appointments while others are able to conduct appointments by phone or video. This is an excellent resource, and we congratulate ATHRA for publishing and maintaining it.
New Online Clinic to Help Smokers Quit
A new online only medical clinic has also recently been set up by Australian doctors to assist smokers quit. Based in Sydney, QuitClinics.com provides counselling by video and can prescribe legal nicotine purchase and consumption. Here’s how it works…
For A$79, you get a 20 minute video consultation with a registered Australian doctor who will discuss your smoking and medical history, and quitting goals.
A treatment plan will be agreed, and if medically appropriate, a prescription will be provided.
More Medical Associations in Australia now support vaping
In January 2020, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) formally changed its position on vaping. The RACGP was opposed to vaping, but now recommends nicotine-based e-cigarettes as a suitable secondary aid for tobacco smokers seeking to quit smoking.
On top of this, in April 2020 the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) changed its position on vaping, and the RACP now supports vaping as a means to quit smoking.
This is all good news as more doctors now have the professional confidence to prescribe e-cigarettes as a nicotine replacement therapy for smokers. Doctors can also specify the most suitable approach for you and your recommended nicotine dosages in your tobacco cessation program.
At the time of the RACGP’s policy change, the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) said “The College of GPs is to be congratulated for this shift in policy, which brings it in line with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the UK Royal College of General Practitioners, the New Zealand Medical Association and many other medical bodies.”
ATHRA has information and resources to assist health professionals learn how to effectively counsel tobacco smokers and how to prescribe the correct types and levels of nicotine replacements. GPs can learn more here on the ATHRA website.
Quitting Smoking Makes Sense
Tobacco smoking harms your lungs. Vaping can reduce this harm and help improve your lung function. There is growing research that Quitting the smokes reduces risks and vulnerability to COVID-19. The research also shows that Lungs start to heal very quickly.
It’s never too late to quit.
- Quit Clinics website for quit smoking counselling and nicotine prescriptions
- “New online smoking clinic offers prescriptions for vaping” (ATHRA News)
- ATHRA info & resources for Australian GPs (ATHRA Resources)
Supporting Smoking Cessation Report - A Guide for Health Professionals
94 page PDF, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)