Nicotine Fact Sheet

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Nicotine Fact Sheet

Nicotine is a dangerous poison

In Tasmania, nicotine is a prescribed dangerous poison under schedule 7 of the Poisons Act 1971.

This means it is an offence to manufacture, obtain, possess, sell or supply nicotine or products containing nicotine.

This includes liquid nicotine.

Nicotine is a harmful substance

High doses of nicotine can be absorbed through the skin, lungs (from smoking) and gastrointestinal tract (from swallowing).

Nicotine poisoning can cause a range of symptoms such as stomach cramps, changes in breathing, agitation and confusion.

Call 000 if you suspect nicotine poisoning.

Nicotine is very addictive

The recreational use of nicotine in any form is likely to lead to addiction.

This reduces the ability of individuals to make healthy choices and causes a huge burden on society.

E-cigarettes containing nicotine are illegal to sell

E-cigarettes and their cartridges cannot be sold in Tasmania if the cartridges contain nicotine.

This is because nicotine is classed as a dangerous poison.

E-cigarettes containing nicotine can be dangerous

In Australia, e-cigarettes and the contents of vapour emissions have not been assessed for quality or safety.

This means they do not have any warnings and may deliver unreliable doses.

Young children are at significant risk from nicotine poisoning.

A child could suffer acute nicotine poisoning if they swallowed the contents of an illegal liquid nicotine cartridge.

Nicotine is permitted in tobacco products and in approved nicotine replacement therapy products

Strict regulation applies to tobacco products because of their addictiveness and the harms they cause.

Globally tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year.

In Tasmania over 500 people die a year from their smoking.

Nicotine replacement therapies are also regulated products but do not cause harm to the population.

Can I access e-cigarettes with nicotine to help quit smoking?

A person is not breaking Tasmanian law if they access a three month supply of nicotine imported for personal use as a therapeutic product if it has been prescribed by a medical practitioner.

However, Tasmanians are strongly advised not to do this.

The Australian medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration does not support the use of e-cigarettes and has not approved any e-cigarette product as a therapeutic good.

Some products containing nicotine have been assessed and approved as a medicine for therapeutic use, such as nicotine replacement therapy products which are available from pharmacies.

Quitting Smoking

Tobacco users wanting to quit their addiction to nicotine should speak to their doctor or a pharmacist about the effective options available or call the Quitline on 13 7848.