A GP guide to vaping and nicotine prescribing

With recent changes to TGA regulations, GPs are likely to see an increasing number of patients seeking advice on vaping and nicotine prescriptions

Need to know:

  • GPs can write prescriptions for nicotine e-liquids under new regulations in place from 1 October 2021.
  • Vaping nicotine is a second-line quitting aid for smokers who are unable to quit with first-line treatments.
  • Vaping nicotine is a more effective quitting aid than nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Patients can legally import nicotine liquid from overseas or purchase it from an Australian pharmacy with a prescription from their GP.
  • Patients should aim to quit smoking as soon as possible and try to stop vaping within 3-6 months.
  • Long-term vaping is discouraged but is safer than relapsing to smoking

Under new regulations, in place from 1 October 2021, consumers who want to purchase liquid nicotine for vaping will need to get a valid prescription from an Australian medical practitioner in order to do so legally.1