Obtaining nicotine for vaping in Australia

Legal Status

This section does not contain legal advice. Corrections and additional information are always welcome

Australian e-cigarette vendors cannot legally sell you nicotine, but it is perfectly legal for you to import nicotine for personal use. The generally quoted figure is 3 months supply. It is also illegal for an Australian vendor to market e-cigarettes or personal vapourisers as devices to help you stop smoking. This situation is similar but not identical to the situation in New Zealand.

How do I obtain liquid containing nicotine for vaping

Nicotine for vaping is generally supplied as a liquid with propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG). You have three options:

  • Import ready to vape liquids. These liquids contain nicotine, PG, VG and flavours mixed at a strength that you choose. This is the easiest way to get e-liquid, but also the most expensive.
  • Buy doublers from New Zealand or Australia, and unflavoured nicotine from New Zealand, the US, China or elsewhere, and mix them yourself.
  • Buy PG and VG locally, unflavoured nicotine from overseas and food flavourings from anywhere and mix flavours yourself. This is the cheapest option, but involves some effort.

Importing Ready to vape liquids

This is really easy, all you have to do is go to an online vape store outside of Australia and order liquid containing nicotine. You choose nicotine strength and PG/VG/flavour ratios and it will be sent to you. The downsides: liquid costs, shipping costs and customs delays can make this exercise costly and frustrating. Some vendors that ship to Australia:

Mixing doublers

This is much cheaper and not much harder than importing pre-mixed juices. A doubler is a half-filled bottle of double strength flavoured PG and VG. You then mix nicotine liquid into the doubler to create nicotine e-liquid. The key is to import nicotine in a strength that is twice the strength you wish to vape

Strength you want Strength of nicotine liquid to buy Common use for this strength
24mg/ml 48mg/ml Very Strong: fighting nicotine craving, will taste peppery
18mg/ml 36mg/ml Strong: common starting strength for vapers, slightly peppery
12mg/ml 24mg/ml Medium: starting to cut down
6mg/ml 12mg/ml Light: cutting down more
3mg/ml 6mg/ml Very light: useful for high volume or chain vaping, or the last step before giving up nicotine altogether

Once you have your doubler and your nicotine, you simply add as much nicotine as you have doubler. The double flavour is diluted in half, and the double strength nicotine is diluted by half, leaving you with e-liquid in your desired strength and flavour.

Vendors who supply nicotine liquid to Australia

It is not recommended you order more than 500ml of nicotine base liquid at any one time. Your Customs risk is your own.

You will need to choose a ratio of PG and VG. If you don’t know what to choose, try 50/50

Some Australian vendors who supply doublers

Full DIY

It is beyond the current scope of this document to cover this topic in depth. If you want to mix your own juice, it is recommended that you join an online community where you can ask questions and get tips from others who have done this before. It is however very satisfying to vape your own flavours, and you are strongly encouraged to give it a try.

Online DIY juice making communities

References

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