Supporting smoking cessation: A guide for health professionals

Last revised: 29 Sep 2021

What is new - Guidance updates on smoking and vaping cessation support related to changes to Australia's vaping regulations as of 1 January 2024

Provisional guidance has been produced in time for the changes to Australia's vaping regulations the come into force on 1 January 2024.  

This document is currently under stakeholder consultation which will close on 19 January 2024 after which time the guidance will be finalised. The document has been prepared by the RACGP Smoking cessation Expert Advisory Group and reviewed by key stakeholders within the Therapeutic Goods Administration and Department of Health.

Eligibility for nicotine replacement therapies - advice for health professionals

Health professionals can use this advice to consider whether their patients are eligible for subsidised NRTs under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Changes to the regulation of nicotine as of 1st October 2021

A focussed update was undertaken to provide guidance about the rescheduling of nicotine e-liquids. Therapeutic Goods (Standard for Nicotine Vaping Products) (TGO 110) Order 2021 (TGO 110) came into effect on 1 October 2021.

A revised recommendation and additional practice points were added in response to TGO 110. These are provided in the Summary of recommendations below and further information about prescribing nicotine vaping products is provided in Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation – Electronic cigarettes and nicotine vaping products

With funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners was commissioned to develop an evidence-based guidance to support health professionals who may choose to prescribe nicotine vaping products (NVPs) as a quitting aid.

Guideline development for NVPs followed the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation). The National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) at the Australian National University (ANU) was commissioned by the Australian Department of Health to undertake a program of research on electronic cigarettes in the Australian context. This work formed the basis of the evidence reviews and technical support to revise the RACGP GRADE recommendation on e-cigarettes / NVPs.

An expert advisory group (EAG) was assembled to specifically review updated evidence on the efficacy and safety of prescribing NVPs and to examine the practicalities of prescribing them for smoking cessation in the new regulatory environment.


The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) first developed Supporting smoking cessation: A guide for health professionals in 2011.

Since then, there have been two minor updates in 2012 and 2014.

This second edition is the most comprehensive update, and brings the guideline in line with new modalities of smoking cessation. It also incorporates GRADE – Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation – a new approach to assessing clinical evidence and drafting practice recommendations.

The second edition of the RACGP’s Supporting smoking cessation: A guide for health professionals was funded in part by the Australian Government Department of Health and VicHealth.

The guideline update on nicotine vaping products has been produced by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners with financial support from the Australian Government through the Department of Health. The information contained herein may include the views or recommendations of third parties, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action.


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