Smoking, the rules and regulations
The health effects of passive smoking have become well known in recent years. Passive smoking can cause a number of serious illnesses including heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and nasal sinus cancer. Community support for smoke-free, safe and healthy environments is very high. As a result, many South Australian public areas have become voluntarily smoke-free over the past decade, including outdoor events. Other areas are smoke-free under legislation, including:
- outdoor dining areas (from 1 July 2016)
- enclosed public areas
- public transport waiting areas.
For more information on the effects of smoking, see the Risks of smoking page.
Laws around selling tobacco products
Tobacco and minors
To sell or supply people under 18 years of age (minors) with tobacco is prohibited and carries a fine of $315. If the prosecution proceeds to court the maximum penalty is $5,000 and the possibility of licence suspension or cancellation. Minors can sell tobacco products, but it is not recommended as they may be less confident about asking to see identification or refusing a sale.
Reporting a suspicion
If you suspect a tobacco retailer of selling tobacco products to minors or any other breaches of the law, you can report it to SA Health's Health Protection Operations. All calls are treated confidentially.
What is a tobacco product
Tobacco product is defined under the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 as a:
- cigarette or cigar
- cigarette or pipe tobacco
- herbal cigarettes or any other product that is smoked
- tobacco prepared for chewing or sucking
- snuff any other product containing tobacco of a kind prescribed by regulation
- any product that does not contain tobacco but is designed for smoking, which includes any packet, carton, shipper or other device in which any of these are contained.
Matches and cigarette lighters are not tobacco products and therefore are not prohibited for sale under the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997.
For more information on the rules and regulations on smoking, contact SA Health's Health Protection Operations by:
- email: HealthProtectionOperations@health.sa.gov.au
- phone: (08) 8226 7100.