Obtaining nicotine for vaping in New Zealand

How do I obtain liquid containing nicotine for vaping

You have likely come here because you are interested in vaping with nicotine but have been told that you cannot buy nicotine e-liquid in New Zealand.

Nicotine for vaping is generally supplied as a liquid with propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG). You have two simple options to get nicotine liquid in NZ:

  • Buy doublers from New Zealand or Australia, and unflavoured nicotine from the US or elsewhere, and mix them yourself.
  • 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. Also, if you run out, your next supplies can take weeks to arrive, putting you at risk of returning to smoking.

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 sub-ohm 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 New Zealand

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

Some New Zealand vendors who supply doublers

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

Importing Ready to vape liquids

This is really easy, all you have to do is go to an online vape store outside of NZ 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 New Zealand:

Legal Status

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

New Zealand 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 a New Zealand vendor to market e-cigarettes or personal vapourisers as devices to help you stop smoking. They are required to market them as “gadgets”. This situation is similar but not identical to the situation in Australia.


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