Something You’re No Longer Allowed To Bring To Australia, Without Getting An Online Prescription First

I’m a big fan of e-cigarettes, though I do not smoke them. You don’t smoke inhale tobacco into your lungs. And they’ve helped a lot of people quit smoking.

There’s no second hand tobacco smoke, obviously, but they’re not allowed on planes. And you’re not allowed to bring them into many countries, either, although tourists often don’t realize this.

  • Public health professionals tend not to like risk of any kind, let alone something that looks like the ‘dirty habit’ of smoking.

  • Tobacco companies don’t like competition.

  • And so they effectively team up in a ‘Bootleggers and Baptists’ scenario to push for government restrictions on vaping.

Did you know that the recently-enacted “Build Back Better” infrastructure bill contains an e-cigarette tax that will make e-cigarettes about 25% more expensive and regular cigarettes, therefore, relatively more affordable?

Australia has gone a lot further. Anything there that’s not expressly permitted in health is more or less prohibited. You can buy melatonin on Amazon in the U.S., but Australia has just legalized buying this from a chemist without a prescription in June… but only if you’re over 55.

Since October 1 it’s been illegal to bring e-cigarettes into Australia without a prescription from an Australian doctor. (You can no longer acquire them domestically without a prescription, either.)

If you want to bring a device to vape nicotine into Australia, you’ll need a prescription from an Australian doctor before you go. Otherwise you could have your device confiscated at the border, and you can be fined.

So file in the ‘good to know’ category that there’s actually a company which will provide you with a prescription in advance of travel that’s valid for a year for $85. That allows you to bring a personal supply for your trip, up to 3 months’ use.

Of course if you are a traditional smoker you’re not allowed to import more than one unopened package, and a prescription doesn’t change that (or likely exist for that matter).

Not my need personally, I’m looking forward to visiting family in Australia and they’re excited to now be allowed to leave to country and visit the States. I don’t vape but I’ve been keeping abreast of changing rules for travelers entering the country and this seemed worth passing along – especially since it’s a new change since most people have been permitted to go there.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Kind of a distorted picture of Herb Kelleher of the chain smoking, wild turkey drinking, CEO of Southwest Airlines. I miss him. Not sure of the relation there.

  2. It’s more of government telling people what they can and can not do with their own bodies. When are conservatives going to realize none of these leftist laws can be enforced without the cops they hold dear. It’s not Scott Morrison who enforces these laws: it’s cops.

  3. @Jen. Vaping is disgusting?? It is relatively harmless to others and has helped many, many people. Intolerant people, holier than thou’s and left wing nut jobs are more disgusting than vaping (I don’t vape either).

  4. AUS & NZ were high on my list of places to go back to and even to live in the future until 2019. Now they are on my DO NOT GO list.
    The pandemic has shown what those countries are really all about. We now know they are absolute fascists in disguise.
    They didn’t allow their own citizen to come back to their homeland, stranding thousands in complete limbo in foreign countries, all that in complete violation of basic UN rules, but they also held their own citizens prisoner by preventing them to leave their own country!!
    The lessons to learn from the Covid are:
    1) the more incompetent the elected officials are, the more fascist they will become when problems arise.
    2) it is more critical than ever to hold multiple passports, so you can’t be held prisoner by your own country if all hell breaks loose in that country.
    3) thinking isolating yourself from the rest of the world will solve all the problems is showing ultimate ignorance of the leaders of those countries.

  5. Michael C. is not wrong. It’s appalling what has happened with once fiercely independent Australia during this pandemic and these additional nanny state edicts underscore that.

  6. Michael C: I find it interesting that fascists like you call other people fascists. But that’s what right wing nut jobs do. Call other people out for doing what their demented brains can cook up. It’s like the phenomenon of compulsive liars to believe other people are lying.
    These are the end times…..

  7. Gary, thanks for the vape information. As a vaper, this is helpful for me to know that I must leave my vape materials at home when traveling abroad. It sucks, but it is what it is and I don’t relish the thought of being denied entry, being fined, and/or being imprisoned. A number of years ago when I went to Singapore, I stored some of my luggage with my vape supplies at the airport behind security so that I could enter the country. Had to buy an expensive pack of Marlboro to get me by while I enjoyed touring the city state.

  8. “ most people have been permitted to go there”

    Really? When did Australia open its borders to “most people”? Still looks like a pretty short list of people allowed in.

  9. I just wanted to chime in here to say a big thank you to Gary for this article. I recently read about an American women’s soccer player that was jailed in Russia for stupidly bringing in cannabis pods illegally. This got me thinking. And then I started to look into it and found this article.

    I wondered if vape juice was being treated the same way in Australia and that I might land in some sort of crazy trouble if I didn’t know what was going on and sure enough… they changed the laws again in October last year and I wasn’t aware of that. I have lived in Japan for 17 years now and only occasionally check in on Australian legalities regarding something so trivial, so this was a big deal for me.

    The link you provided to QuitClinics was quick and effortless, despite the $85 dollar cost for the exemption. It was done in 24 hours and now I am free to travel without concern that I won’t be stopped, harassed, fined or at worst, imprisoned for something I freely enjoy where I currently live.

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