18B.9 Legal status in Australia

Last updated: May 2024

Suggested citation: Grace, C and Greenhalgh, EM. 18B.9 Legal status in Australia. In Greenhalgh, EM, Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2024. Available from: https://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-18-e-cigarettes/indepth-18b-non-combustible-cigarettes/18b-9-legal-status-in-australia


In Australia, although there are no specific laws pertaining to heated tobacco products, products that contain nicotine and/or tobacco are regulated by a number of existing Acts. Under the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Poisons (Cth) (‘the Poisons Standard’), 1 the nicotine in heated tobacco products is classed as a schedule 4 ‘prescription only’ substance. As a result, heated tobacco products are subject to the same controls as other ‘prescription only’ products (such as those set out in the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and associated regulations, as well as those contained in State and Territory drugs and poisons legislation). Heated tobacco products are also listed as a ‘prohibited import’ under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1965 (‘Customs Regulations’), and therefore cannot be imported without a permit issued by the Office of Drug Control. The practical effect of this is that heated tobacco products are essentially prohibited in Australia.

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1.  The Poisons Standard (the SUSMP). Canberra: Australian Government, 2018. Available from: https://www.tga.gov.au/publication/poisons-standard-susmp