Key messages

  • Nicotine may be a Schedule 7 poison (Dangerous poison) in Victoria and can be in liquid form.
  • Where nicotine is a Schedule 7 poison and is for human use, it is not available for general sale by retail in Victoria.
  • Some consumer products, such as e-liquids for use in an e-cigarette, may be advertised as ‘nicotine free’. Unless such products are tested and found not to contain nicotine by accredited laboratories, suppliers and potential consumers cannot rely on such marketing or labelling claims.
  • Information on this page does not apply to tobacco when prepared and packed for smoking.

Nicotine for human use

The Poisons Code lists nicotine for human use when it is a Schedule 7 poison as a substance that is not for general sale by retail. Schedule 7 nicotine is often in a liquid form and does not include tobacco when prepared and packed for smoking.

This decision was made on the basis that nicotine for human use is a dangerous poison. Unless approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as a therapeutic good, a product that contains nicotine for human use may not have been assessed for safety, quality or efficacy.

Victorian legislation makes it an offence to manufacture, sell, supply, purchase or otherwise obtain, possess or use nicotine for human use when it is a Schedule 7 poison, unless the person is authorised under Victorian legislation to do so.

The prohibition applies to products containing nicotine for human use obtained from anywhere in Australia or overseas, whether over the internet or by other means.

Under certain circumstances, authorised and registered health practitioners may prescribe nicotine in preparations for human therapeutic use.

Some products advertised as ‘nicotine free’ may not be accurately labelled and may still contain nicotine or other dangerous chemicals. Suppliers and potential consumers cannot rely on such marketing claims.

Smoking cessation aids

Certain smoking cessation aids containing nicotine have been assessed as medicines for therapeutic use by the TGA, and can be legally supplied and used in Australia. Products are available from supermarkets and pharmacies; they include lozenges, gums, transdermal patches, inhalers and tablets. The labels will include the AUST R number indicating that the products are listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Smokers wishing to give up smoking are encouraged to seek the support of Quit Victoria by calling the Quitline on 13 7848 or checking the Quit website.

Victoria Police investigations

Members of the public may contact Victoria Police through the Crime Stoppers website or phone 1800 333 000 if they suspect that products containing nicotine for human use, such as liquid nicotine or e-liquids containing nicotine, are being offered for sale from retail outlets. This does not include tobacco when prepared and packed for smoking or TGA approved smoking cessation aids.

For further information on the regulation of nicotine in Victoria, please contact Medicines and Poisons Regulation.

Tobacco products

Information on this page does not apply to tobacco when prepared and packed for smoking.

Contact details