It’s easy to become confused if you’re new to vape. After all, it’s kinda like smoking but it’s not smoking and there’s a device involved which sometimes looks like a cigarette and other times looks like a graphics card. Sometimes there’s not even smoke and there’s all of these flavours and some have tobacco but most of them don’t - yeah, it’s more than a little weird.
But it’s also really popular for good reason. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with everything you need to know about vape; from what vape is, to how to start vaping, to how to ensure the best vaping experience, to the laws behind vape.
What is vape?
Seriously. That’s all that it is.
Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Vape is a vapour that is formed from liquid that is heated by a vape/e-cigarette. Vape consists of two main components - Propylene Glycol (PG) which thins out the consistency of the vapour and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) which thickens the consistency of the vapour. The texture of the e-liquid is determined by the different concentrations of PG and VG.
Propylene Glycol is a synthetic organic compound that is used in food processing and pharmaceuticals. It is a clear, odourless, thin, and slightly sweet tasting liquid. Vegetable Glycerine is a colourless, odourless liquid that is non-toxic. It also has a slightly sweet taste, and is used in the food industry as an artificial sweetener as well as in pharmaceuticals.
It is the proportion of Propylene Glycol to Vegetable Glycerin that determines the consistency of a vape juice and therefore its harshness on the throat.
A higher PG ratio such as 70PG/30VG is quite a ‘thin’ liquid, and will typically give you a slightly harsher throat hit. A high VG ratio such as 65VG/35PG is often softer on the throat and will produce larger, more dense vapour production.
What is vaping?
Vaping is the act of heating up e-liquid using a vapouriser (or e-cigarette), inhaling and then exhaling the ensuing vapour.
Vaping exists as an alternative to smoking. While it offers a similar sensation, it also allows the user more control over their experience than a cigarette. Sure, with cigarettes you can have brand preferences that offer slight changes that you could prefer. However, in choosing your own e-liquid and vape cigarette, you directly influence every single part of how your vape experience is going to taste and feel.
What is a vapouriser?
A vapouriser is a small device that heats up vape in order to produce an aerosol called a vapour. They come in different variations; from e-cigarettes, to vape pens, to box mods, to vape pods. Typically, you’ll find the following on a vapouriser:
- The main device body that contains all of the inner components of the vapouriser, such as circuitry and microchips
- The battery, which is also removable and rechargeable in some cases
- The tank (or cartomiser), which holds the vape liquids
- The atomiser coil, which heats up the vape liquid to create the vapour
- The mouthpiece, which is where you draw the vape from
What do I need to start vaping?
While there is a wealth of vaping accessories available, you only really need vapourisers and an e-liquid. There are many starter kits available, so you can find one that suits your needs and begin your vaping experience on the best possible foot.
How do I optimise my vaping experience?
Much like any device, there are ways to ensure that your vape experience is perfect every time. They require little effort, but they’ll pay off if you implement them regularly and properly.
Investing in quality e-liquids
This one seems obvious, but a lot of people tend to overlook the quality of their vape in favour of their vapouriser. A vapouriser is only half of the vape experience, you need quality vape as well, which you can get from quality suppliers such as Vape Lab Group.
Vape Lab Group was started to combat the deluge of low-quality, imported vape products that were flooding the vape shop Melbourne market. Similarly how the beer market used to be dominated by several large companies producing uninteresting products with unimaginative brand names.
The goal of Vape Lab Group is to emulate the craft beer market by providing interesting and high quality products that enhance the vaping experience. Our e-liquids are made in a state-of-the-art production laboratory right here in the heart of Melbourne! They also come in a range of different flavours in categories such as fruits, desserts, beverages and tobacco products.
We also update our range of flavours regularly, so feel free to get in contact with us and let us know what you want next.
Maintaining your vapouriser
Like with any device, you can enhance your vape experience by maintaining your vapouriser. This includes many different factors; such as cleaning it regularly, changing the atomisers every 2-4 weeks to ensure their heating capabilities are up to scratch, not overfilling the tank when using e-liquids, storing your vapouriser in a cool place and not overcharging the battery.
Customising your vape experience
Not only can you select your own vapouriser, but you can also choose your own vape liquids. For example, our premium vape juices come in a wide range of flavours. There are:
- Desserts, which contain flavours such as vanilla custard, apple crumble, chocolate
- Energy, whose flavours evoke caffeine drinks such as energy drinks, cola and espresso
- Fruit, with flavours such as forest fruits, bonkers banana and peach & mango
- Party mix, whose flavours resemble alcoholic beverages like gin, bourbon, mojitos and cocktails
- Tobacco, with flavours such as kentt, winn and cherry cigar
On top of that, one of the most exciting parts of vaping is mixing your flavours. The sheer amount of combinations that are available thanks to all of the different flavours that we provide, is too large to even try to count. Crazy Coconut and Mango Tango? Iced Coffee and Chocolate? Let your imagination run wild!
What is the legality of vape in Australia?
Vapes are legal in Australia. The consensus between the states is that vapes are:
- classified as smoke products (i.e. they cannot be used in smoke free areas, etc.)
- governed by the same laws as tobacco products (i.e. they cannot be sold to people under the age of 18, etc.)
- illegal to sell if they contain liquid nicotine
The best thing you can do is check the individual laws of your state. While it is highly unlikely that a vape shop in Australia will deviate from the above consensus, it is always a good idea to be aware of where you stand legally.
The following sections are excerpts from the official websites of each state on their vape laws...
Australian Capital Territory
In the ACT, personal vaporisers, including electronic cigarettes are regulated in much the same way as tobacco. It is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to people under the age of 18 and to use electronic cigarettes in legislated smoke-free areas in the ACT. Restrictions also apply to advertising, displays and marketing.
Use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited in legislated smoke-free areas in the ACT under the Smoke-Free Public Places Act 2003. Electronic cigarette use is prohibited in all enclosed public places, outdoor eating and drinking areas, underage functions, and cars when children are present. Penalties may apply to using electronic cigarettes in these locations.
Individual establishments and workplaces may also develop their own policies in relation to the use of electronic cigarettes, which may include banning the use of electronic cigarettes on their premises.
Further information about smoke-free areas in the ACT is available at Smoking Products and Smoke-Free Environments.
New South Wales
E-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine are legal in NSW. Adults can buy and use e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine.
From 1 October 2021 e-cigarettes and e-liquids containing nicotine are a prescription only medicine. This means pharmacists in community pharmacies can supply e-liquids and e-cigarettes (containing nicotine) to their customers (18 years and over) if they have a valid prescription from a doctor.
For retailers other than pharmacies it will continue to be illegal to sell e-liquids and e-cigarettes that contain nicotine. This includes online sales.
Smoke-free areas where people cannot smoke or use e-cigarettes are:
- All indoor public places
- Outdoor public places:
- Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public places
- Public swimming pools
- Spectator areas at sports grounds or other recreational areas used for organised sporting events
- Public transport stops and platforms, including ferry wharves and taxi ranks
- Within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building
- Commercial outdoor dining areas
- In a car with a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle.
Using e-cigarettes on public transport vehicles such as trains, buses, light rail, ferries is also banned under the Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017.
Individual establishments and workplaces such as businesses, councils and other organisations may develop their own smoke-free policies to ban the use of e-cigarettes within the premises.
NSW Health inspectors conduct regular compliance monitoring and enforcement activity. Inspectors enforce the ban on using e-cigarettes where smoking is not permitted. They can issue cautions or on the spot fines of $300 to people who break the law.
Vapes and vape accessories in Northern Territory fall under the Tobacco Control Act 2002, due to an amendment in 2019. Like traditional tobacco products, the sale of e-cigarettes requires a Tobacco Retail Licence and the same restrictions that apply to the sale and consumption of tobacco applies to e-cigarettes.
Under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (the Act), electronic cigarettes (regardless of whether they contain nicotine or not) and related products are smoking products and subject to the Queensland smoking laws.
This includes that electronic cigarettes cannot be:
- used in no-smoking indoor and outdoor places
- sold to children under 18 years of age
- advertised, promoted or displayed at retail outlets
- provided for sale in a vending machine.
In Queensland, electronic cigarettes and electronic cigarette products containing nicotine are illegal unless on prescription and supplied from a pharmacist or through Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) processes.
Please note that currently no electronic cigarette products containing nicotine have been approved as a therapeutic good by the TGA for sale in Australia. These products are considered ‘unapproved medicines’ and have not been assessed by the TGA for safety, quality and efficacy.
In Queensland, nicotine is regulated by the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and supporting regulations (Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021 and Medicines and Poisons (Poisons and Prohibited Substances Regulation 2021). Nicotine is regulated on the basis that it is classified as a 'Dangerous Poison' under Schedule 7 of the federal ‘Poisons Standard’, except when included in Schedule 4 for human use.
As of 31 March 2019 the sale and supply of e-cigarette products in South Australia is regulated through the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997. The new laws cover all e-cigarette products, including e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories such as cartridges and liquids.
Under the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997, it is an offence to:
- sell or supply e-cigarette products to a person under the age of 18 years;
- sell e-cigarette products by retail without a Retail Tobacco and E-Cigarette Merchant’s Licence;
- provide or offer to provide free samples, prizes, gifts or other benefits (including through sponsorship, competitions and rewards) in connection to the sale of e-cigarette products;
- sell e-cigarette products from temporary outlets, sales trays and vending machines; and
- use e-cigarettes in public places that are currently smoke-free under the law, including in a motor vehicle if a child under the age of 16 years is present;
- Adults will still be able to buy e-cigarette products, however there is no change to the ban on the sale of nicotine for use in e-cigarettes under the Controlled Substances Act 1984.
From 1 October 2019, to allow a six month transition period for e-cigarette retailers to make changes to their business operations, it is an offence to:
- advertise and promote e-cigarette products;
- have e-cigarette products on display at the point of sale; and
- sell e-cigarette products by indirect orders (including internet sales).
In Tasmania, it is illegal under the Poisons Act 1971 to sell, buy or use e-cigarette cartridges containing nicotine.
There are also restrictions under the Public Health Act 1997 on the display, advertising, sale to people under 18 years of age and use of e-cigarettes in areas that are smoke free.
Under the Act e-cigarettes cannot be used in areas where smoking is banned, cannot be displayed at retailer outlets, and cannot be sold to people under 18 years of age, as well as being subject to other restrictions.
Smoking e-cigarettes is banned in outdoor dining areas of cafes, footpath dining, restaurants and pubs, food fairs, community and street festivals.
In most cases, it is against the law to sell, possess or use an e-cigarette containing nicotine in Victoria (although there are some very specific exceptions to this).
It is also illegal to buy e-cigarettes containing nicotine from overseas and bring them into the country, unless you meet a number of special legal requirements (including having a prescription from an Australian doctor).
Sale, possession and use of non-nicotine e-cigarettes is legal in Victoria (as long as the liquid used in the e-cigarette does not contain any other illegal ingredients).
Retailers are not permitted to display e-cigarettes in retail outlets or sell them to anyone under the age of 18.
It is illegal to sell, supply or possess an e-cigarette or any liquid that contains nicotine in Australia without a doctor’s prescription. Nicotine is a dangerous poison, even in small quantities, and it is strictly regulated in WA under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2014 (external site).
In Western Australia, products that resemble tobacco products, including e-cigarette devices, whether or not they contain nicotine, cannot be sold by tobacco or general retailers under the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 (external site).
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced changes to be operational from 1 October 2021 to the national laws regulating imports of nicotine products (including nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine) that have not been approved for use in Australia.
Nicotine products can only be prescribed by a registered medical practitioner (or other authorised prescriber) and may only be dispensed by a registered pharmacy. An e-cigarette device designed and intended for delivery of nicotine may be supplied by a registered pharmacy, for use with prescribed nicotine products, as part of a medically supervised smoking cessation program.
Owners/managers may choose to implement a policy applying to their premises which prohibits the use of e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited.