E-cigarettes containing nicotine can only be supplied by pharmacies with a valid prescription

As of 1 October 2021 e-cigarettes and e-liquids containing nicotine are a prescription only medicine. This means pharmacists in community pharmacies can supply e-liquids and e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) to their customers (18 years and over) only if they have a valid prescription from a doctor.

For retailers other than pharmacies it continues to be illegal to sell e-liquids and e-cigarettes that contain nicotine. This includes online sales.

Information for tobacco and e-cigarette retailers in NSW is available in English, Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Hindi and Vietnamese.

Reporting illegal sales

If you think someone is selling e-cigarettes that contain nicotine (other than pharmacies), please report it to NSW Health by completing the online reporting form or call the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412.

For further information or for any other complaints, please call the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412.

Non-English speaking people can contact the Tobacco Information Line via the translating and interpreting service (TIS) on 13 1450 to report breaches to the smoking bans and tobacco retailing laws.

Fines for supplying nicotine

NSW Health inspectors visit tobacco retailers and vaping stores to check if products containing liquid nicotine are being sold.

NSW Health can prosecute retailers for selling e-cigarette and e-liquid products that contain nicotine. From 1 October 2021 penalties increased. The maximum penalty is $1,650 or 6 months prison, or both.

Illegal nicotine e-cigarettes seized

NSW Health has seen an increase in the number of e-cigarettes containing nicotine, or labelled as containing nicotine, being sold by retailers. This includes disposable devices, with brands such as HQD Cuvies, Stig, Jeemo, Puff Bar, and Myle. Other types of e-cigarettes include pod devices, such as JUUL.

This table shows the quarterly data for seizures of e-cigarette and e-liquid products containing nicotine or labelled as containing nicotine by NSW Health officers.

Quarter Number of products seized
​1 July - 30 September 2022
​52,746
​1 April - 30 June 2022
​26,434
​1 January - 31 March 2022
​34,825
1 October - 31 December 20219,587
1 July - 30 September 20217,677
1 April - 30 June 202134,865
1 January – 31 March 202124,067
1 October – 31 December 202018,900
1 July – 30 September 20206,554
1 April – 30 June 20201,801
1 January – 31 March 20202,866

Prosecutions for illegal sales of nicotine containing e-cigarettes

This table lists the prosecutions for illegal sale of nicotine containing e-cigarettes and nicotine containing e-liquids, following investigation and seizures by Authorised Officers in NSW Health. It shows the number of successful prosecutions in each quarter.

Quarter Number of successful prosecutions Local health districts business is located in
​1 July - 30 September 2022
​2
​Central Coast
Northern Sydney
​1 April - 30 June 2022
​2

​South Eastern Sydney
​1 January 2022 - 31 March 2022
​5
  • South Eastern Sydney
  • South Western Sydney
  • Hunter New England
  • Central Coast
  • Sydney​
1 October - 31 December 20211 South Eastern Sydney
1 July - 30 September 20211 Sydney
1 April - 30 June 20212
  • South Eastern Sydney
  • Northern Sydney
1 January – 31 March 20214
  • Northern Sydney
  • South Eastern Sydney
  • Sydney
1 October – 31 December 20201 South Eastern Sydney
1 July – 30 September 20204
  • Sydney
  • Northern Sydney
1 April – 30 June 20200
1 January - March 20203
  • Nepean Blue Mountains
  • North Sydney
  • Hunter New England

Current as at: Tuesday 15 November 2022
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health