Vaping and the Law

Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or other vaping device. E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales. That’s why using e-cigarettes is called “vaping”.

Under existing state and territory laws in Australia, the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine to someone without a doctor’s prescription is illegal. But this does not guarantee all e-cigarettes sold legally are nicotine-free.

The possession or use of these products without a prescription is illegal in all states and territories except South Australia.  From 1 October 2021, importing nicotine e-cigarette products and refills from overseas websites without a valid doctor’s prescription will also be illegal.

In Australia – IF YOU ARE 18 YEARS OR OVER ONLY – You can legally buy e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine. It is illegal, however, for manufacturers or retailers to make any therapeutic claims about e-cigarettes.

Clonard works closely and co-operatively with the Geelong Police Liaison officers to share relevant information in regard to the illegal sale of e-cigarette devices and associated items that is made known to the College.


The Cancer Council research suggests vaping is becoming more and more popular with Australia’s youth. However, this trending activity poses a serious concern to young people’s health.

Talking to young people about the risks of vaping can be difficult. But did you know that vaping can be a gateway to nicotine addiction and future cigarette smoking? Research has unveiled that many vape liquids contain nicotine, even when labelled as ‘nicotine-free.’ They also include a cocktail of toxic chemicals that haven’t been tested as inhalants. The long-term health impacts of vaping are also still unknown, but what has been discovered about traditional cigarettes in recent decades has experts concerned that vapes could lead to the next generation of lung disease and lung cancer.

It is important for all in our community to know:

  • According to, most e-cigarettes on the market in Australia contain nicotine, even those that claim they don’t. E-cigarettes are unregulated, so there are no consequences for a manufacturer who inaccurately labels their product.
  • Nicotine has been proven as among the most addictive substances known. In addition, nicotine can harm adolescent brain development and impair memory and concentration.
  • E-cigarettes can cause significant harm in both the short and long term, even if non-nicotine varieties are used.
  • If any student has been using a vape recreationally or for self-medication purposes, they should seek help from a trusted adult, particularly if they feel addicted.

See the following link to a powerful article which featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, written from a student’s perspective:

Latest research in regard to Vaping can be accessed here, featuring a report released by the Federal government this week:

Vaping causes harm and addiction in ‘new generation’ of users, major report warns – ABC News

Please also see below a range of free, downloadable resources for parents and young people to help empower you with the facts and information you need to have for an informed conversation with your child.

Truth_Vaping_Lingo_Dictionary_FINAL.pdf (

Vaping: What You Need to Know (for Teens) – Nemours KidsHealth

Positive Choices: Drug and Alcohol Education – Get informed, stay smart, stay safe – Positive Choices

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation – Alcohol and Drug Foundation (