Your loved one’s birthday is coming up, and instead of a new pair of socks, you’re considering gifting them a vape gift set to help move them away from cigarettes once and for all.
While harm reduction through vapes is a well-intentioned gift, it’s important to understand the following:
- Responsible and medically-trusted vaping products require a doctor’s prescription and should only be used as part of a smoking cessation plan for the best chance of success.
- Illicit vapes (such as those sold illegally in convenience stores) may actually be increasing your loved one’s nicotine addiction and exposing them to even more harm.
Although you can’t gift vapes to other people, there are still many ways you can help your loved ones quit smoking for good.
Let’s learn more about it in this post.
Chat to an Aussie GP today
Bulk-billed phone consultations
TGA-authorised Aussie doctors
Nicotine vaping scripts available
The Timeline of Vaping Restrictions and Regulations
So, why can’t you gift vape sets to a smoker?
There have been a number of steps the government has taken to restrict the sale of vapes only to motivated smokers trying to quit and under a smoking cessation programme.
In October 2021, the government introduced prescription-only regulations for vapes, finally recognising the potential dangers of vapes and the rising number of non-smokers, teens, and children as young as 5 years old using the product.
Unfortunately, these measures were insufficient and poorly enforced, and thousands of stores began selling unregulated cheaply-made products to anyone they wished, including children.
Then, in May 2023, the Australian government announced far tighter regulations on nicotine vaping products (NVPs), along with greatly heightened enforcement to stop the growing blackmarket and avoid a new generation of nicotine addicts, as these sellers were targeting Australia’s youth.
NVPs Require Scripts for Purchase
Under the new regulations, holding a valid prescription for NVPs is much more heavily enforced today, and that enforcement is growing. As of 2023, NVPs you can buy from pharmacies are only accessible through a GP’s prescription, with pharmacies being the only source of these legal NVPs.
In order to be eligible for a prescription, you must personally be attempting to quit smoking and have tried and failed with first-line treatments (such as NRT) in the past.
So, while you can’t gift vapes yourself, there are some things you can do for a smoker.
Send them here to book in a bulk-billed phone chat with an Aussie GP to discuss their options for quitting smoking, and receive a prescription if they’re eligible.
Once they’re motivated to stop smoking and are under a smoking cessation programme, you can be part of their support group, being a cheerleader for their journey towards stopping smoking and eventual nicotine abstinence.
If you’re still thinking about gifting, you can actually be the one to pick up the prescribed NVP for your loved one. Like any other prescribed medicine, as long as the proper details are in place and the prescription is under the patient’s name, you can pick it up on their behalf and deliver it to them.
Better yet, you can use gift wrap and present it as a gift. Despite not having any surprise factor like unexpected gifts usually do, they’ll definitely appreciate it.
Why Illegal NVPs Are a Bad Gift Idea
While heavy enforcement is ramping up nationwide, these dangerous products may still be found in some convenience stores and tobacconists for the time being.
While it’s true you can buy a disposable vape gift set without a script, you’re actually endangering your loved one. If your reasoning for this gift is harm reduction, it’s actually achieving the opposite.
Illicit vapes contain numerous dangerous chemicals, and even heavy metals such as nickel and lead, which are extremely dangerous to the body. They’re made in unknown conditions with no focus on (or even concern of) human health, being made as cheaply as possible for maximum profits to their criminal sellers.
We strongly recommend that you do not purchase illicit NVPs. They are made to be highly addictive and to create a whole new generation of nicotine addicts.
Illegal NVPs May Increase Addiction
Unfortunately, product safety is only half of the problem with illegal NVPs. A smoker without proper medical guidance and a plan is at high risk of actually increasing their dependence on nicotine.
If NVP consumption is not advised and monitored by a professional, it’s highly likely that smokers will become dual-users – that is, smoking and vaping at the same time.
Rather than using vapes to replace cigarettes, many smokers who also vape without guidance are likely just filling in the gaps in their day where smoking wasn’t possible. This increase in constant puffing, paired with the hand-to-mouth movement, greatly increases the body’s dependence on nicotine, and the rate of consumption that it’ll require to have them feeling whole again.
The route pharmacy NVPs have taken in the country is the most viable and compassionate option for motivated smokers worldwide, and ensures that they stay on track and stay away from smoking.
By having a GP oversee their quitting journey and by joining a smoking cessation group, they find the best and most seamless path towards kicking smoking and nicotine addiction for good.
Great Gifts to Motivate Heavy Smokers to Quit
NVPs aren’t the only things you can gift to inspire motivated smokers to quit their habit for good.
Here are some great alternatives.
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Products: These are first-line quitting aids that satisfy nicotine cravings with a small dose of nicotine. But remember, just like pharmacy vapes, they’re far more effective if your loved one goes through a smoking cessation programme.
- Inspirational Books: Books from various authors on stopping smoking and addiction can inspire motivated smokers to quit. Other inspirational books that don’t tackle smoking directly may also be a great gift idea.
- Fitness Tracker: Any person, even smokers, would probably not let a high-quality fitness tracker go to waste, giving them inspiration to start getting physically fit.
- Aromatherapy Diffuser: Diffused aromatic oil introduces a relaxing, gentle feeling to the room.
- Healthy Snack Basket: Keeping a motivated smoker’s hands and mouth busy is crucial during the first few weeks of quitting. Gift them a healthy snack basket with nuts, trail mixes, and fruits.
- Quit Smoking Support Kit: This kit contains personalised items such as stress balls, herbal teas, sugar-free candies, and a personally named (printed or sewn) quit smoking journal to inspire the motivated smoker to quit smoking for good.
How Can I Get Pharmacy Vaping Products?
Here are the steps any motivated smoker can take to purchase NVPs from pharmacies.
Chat to a GP
It’s important that motivated smokers go through a smoking cessation programme to give them direction during the quitting process. GPs are also the only ones authorised to provide NVP prescriptions.
Go Through First-Line Solutions First
NVPs aren’t the first-line solution for smoking cessation. As much as possible, using proven medicines and aids is the priority – in this case NRT products.
The Second Line Solution
If your GP deems NRT products aren’t working for you, they can prescribe pharmacy NVPs. Your GP will also recommend the proper way to use and consume your NVP for the best chance at success.
While it’s not possible to give a vape gift set to a smoker without a prescription, there are other alternatives you can give on a special occasion to make them feel great and inspire them to quit.
Still, the best course of action for NVPs is to go through a smoking cessation programme with trusted pharmacy products – it ensures motivated smokers have a product they can confidently inhale and feel safe in using.
We know you’re here because you want to gift a vape for someone to help them stop quitting. We hope you found this information useful, and we can still help your loved one or you to stop smoking for good.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.