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Peak Australian GP body supports vaping

Posted on January 28, 2020

IN A MAJOR POLICY SHIFT, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has supported vaping nicotine as an option for some Australian smokers in the latest national smoking cessation guidelines published today.

The peak GP organisation has carefully reviewed all the evidence on the effectiveness and safety of vaping and has determined that it is a legitimate quitting aid for adult smokers.

The guidelines advise GPs and other health professionals to recommend vaping for smokers who want to quit but have tried unsuccessfully with currently available medications.

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

Endorsement by the College recognises that many smokers struggle to quit with conventional treatments. Even with the best therapies, quit rates are modest and most smokers try and fail repeatedly. The only alternative for many smokers has been to continue to smoke.

Vaping now provides another effective option. Vaping is unique in that it delivers the nicotine smokers are addicted to as well as a “smoking experience” which includes the sensations of smoking, hand-to-mouth ritual and social aspects of smoking. Vaping also delivers the enjoyment and relaxation of a cigarette, but without the thousands of toxic chemicals from burning tobacco.

Ask your GP if vaping could help you quit

GPs were previously reluctant to support vaping as it was not yet approved by health authorities. However now the peak GP organisation has given its stamp of approval, smokers can ask their GP or health professional about vaping and get their support on the quitting journey. The research shows that support from a health professional increases quit rates even further.

GPs can write nicotine prescriptions where appropriate for importing nicotine e-liquids. It is legal to import 3 months of nicotine liquid for vaping if you have a prescription from a medical practitioner, under the Personal Importation Scheme

Vaping is the most effective quitting aid available. A recent study found that it was nearly twice as effective as nicotine patches and gums. Vaping is not risk-free but, according to the UK Royal College of Physicians, long-term vaping is likely to be at least 95% less harmful than smoking.

Visit your local vape shop for more advice on what device and e-liquid to use and practical help in making the switch. More information is available on the ATHRA website, the E-cigarette Academy or online forums such as Vaping in Australia or Vape Fam Australia, where you can ask questions of experienced vapers.

The new advice also gives health professionals the confidence of knowing that vaping is an approved quitting aid they can recommend to their smoking patients.

Health professionals who wish to find out more about vaping, such as how to write a nicotine prescription, can access further information by clicking the Health Professionals link at the top of the page and logging in with your AHPRA number.

Colin Mendelsohn interview on RegulatorWatch Canada.
Australian GPs Shift Policy to Recommend Vaping 30 January 2020


Supporting smoking cessation. A guide for health professionals. Second edition. Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. 28 January 2020.

Vaping recommended by GPs to help smokers give up despite health concerns. Sydney Morning Herald, 28 January 2020

How to switch to vaping in 5 easy steps

Posted by Colin Mendelsohn,

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29 Replies to “Peak Australian GP body supports vaping”

Karen Gant

Thank you so much. It’s fantastic to finally see some common sense for the vaping industry.

I was a pack a day smoker for 42 years and had tried everything to quit. I was introduced to vaping a little over 3 years ago and it worked immediately.

I have, in the last 2 years, helped many people quit smoking using a vaping device and the sense of satisfaction it gives is second to none.

Thank you once again.


Where do I import the nicotine from when i get a Dr script? And which vape device is best?


HI Tammy
We have a Vape shop in Mudgee. We recommend you purchase the 100% strength nicotine from Vapoureyes NZ (That is where we purchase our personal mix from) and then mix it with juice you purchase from your local Vape shop.


Belinda, please do not ever recommend 100% nicotine to anyone, that is 1000mg/ml & requires specialized equipment to handle, certainly not something a new vaper should use!
100mg/ml (10%) nicotine is relatively safe to work with, as long as common sense precautions are used, such as having paper towel on standby to quickly clean up any spills.

I'd also search on goggle for "Hiliq" their 100mg/ml nicotine is some of the best available & cheaper. It ships from China but don't let that deter you(most other vendors buy in bulk from China), their shipping generally takes 5-10 days to arrive on your doorstep.


They cant prescribe it, only recommend it.


Yes they can prescribe nicotine. You can get a script for it

Michelle Foo

Hi Tammy, just to let you know if you do import your nicotine please wear protective gloves etc. Keep your nicotine in the freezer in a locked bag. Happy to answer any questions on the amount to mix etc. you can contact us at Foo Vapes

James Brogan

Pleased send this to the CDC in the United States.

They are clueless Andy refuse to share any true information with our government or states.

Thank you

Glen T.

That’s great news but how do you get around the possession laws in each state? Correct me if I’m wrong, but even a prescription won’t protect you against an overly zealous police officer who hasn’t a clue about changes if any in the Act even if there were any. I’m no tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist but my confidence in the people who enforce the law is at an all time low. Still, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Now to get rid of Greg Hunt…

Phil Lee

Well, Greg Hunt did say it would be over his dead body, so presumably he's now settled his affairs and is preparing to shuffle off this mortal coil.


Hi Glen, It is totally legal to possess nicotine and vape to quit smoking or prevent relapse if you have a prescription. These new guidelines which support vaping will encourage GPs to recommend it and write nicotine prescriptions. Nicotine can be imported from overseas under the Personal Importation Scheme with a prescription.


This is really fantastic news and such a back flip of the authorities. Hopefully this means that legislation will flow through the various departments of the government governing the sale and use of vaping products.

My question evolves around, you state that a GP can now write a script for the importation of nicotine. Does that cover all states and territories of Australia and will GPs be given the support and knowledge they require to comfortably provide a script?


Never had a script from a GP. I have imported nicotine from several different shops in NZ. Usually comes via DHL and is here pretty quick. DHL do their own customs clearance on board so no probs there. I understand that you can import up to 3 months nicotine for personal use without any dramas. Not had a problem so far. Have just recenly ordered 400ml of juice from Hong Kong. This was at 8% nicotine in 4 seperate botlles. Went straight through customs un-opened and was delivered last week!!!


HI Cam,
This support by the RACGP applies in all states.
GPs can write legally scripts in all states and territories making possession of nicotine liquid legal for quitting.
Hopefully the authorities will legalise the sale of nicotine so it can be purchased as a consumer product without a prescription, just like cigarettes. It needs to be carefully regulated to avoid uptake by young people.
GPs will need training and ATHRA is hoping to push for that.

Matt Kelly

Thanks ATHRA, my favorite charity! A great step forward.
Carry a picture of your Nicotien script on your phone is the recommendation procedure to pacify any legal eagles.
NewZealand is the closest and is a reputable supplier of 100mg per ml Nicotien.
30 months vaping, zero cigarettes, I feel fantastic !

Phil Lee

A triumph for science over stupid Hunts.

John Wessels

I believe it not only helps you to give up smoking, it also helps the heavy smokers to safe a fortune.A friend of mine also use Vapor ,and it costs him $30. Per month.


Have a look at the comments in the SMH article. That's what we're up against.

Mehdi Mohamadi

I hope in US and Canada, the officials learn and come out with truth and science based decisions.

Congratulation of being honest and helping people to have a choice for harm reduction and make educated choices.


We Vapers here in Canada applaud this move! Finally some good news on the Vaping Front! Now hopefully at least a few of our virtue signalling politicians read this as well!

Michelle Kaplan

About time this happened. Absolutely sheer bloody mindedness that prevented this from happening sooner (as well as the tobacco industry having a very heavy hand in poo-pooing vaping). I'd still be smoking today if it wasn't for vaping. Thankfully I decided to give it a go after trying every other possible means of quitting and I am pleased to say that I had my last cigarette on the 24th November, 2017. Thank you vaping industry for sticking to your guns to help us addicts be able to give the fags. I am VERY grateful.


This is great news. Now all we need is regulation on imported nicotine and legislation around who can sell nicotine legally and we'll be a legitimate industry. I'm sick of people getting sick from 100mg Nicotine.

José Acevedo

A mi el vapeo me ayudó a dejar de fumar, algo que no conseguí en 26 años de cigarrillos

Greg Wilcox

Thankyou so much for letting me know where I can get a script from a doctor as I have tried in my area . Everytime getting a knock back not to mention a strange look from these GPS . None of the GPS in my area have heard of giving people scripts for nicotene and I really hope more of them look into helping people with this. Again thankyou as this will save me from going back to smoking white ox everyday


i am currently vapping. i need to find a dr. to give me a script, so can continue to vape in 2021. im a ds pension. so the doctors visit will need to go through medicare. i was smoking close to 150 grams per week. that was 18months ago. im now smoking 50 grams per week. i know its a long shot. but i believe its worth asking for help on this site….


Hi Luci, where do you live? You can get a Medicare rebate if you can visit a doctor face-to-face. Also, ATHRA can send your doctor details on how to prescribe nicotine if he/she is willing to help.


i live in gosford nsw. i have been trying to buy from o/s what i need before the cut off on jan 2021.. but no luck. ive searched dozens of sites. its like running into a brick wall


Hi Luci,
Please contact me and we will find a solution., 0415 976 783

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