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Tobacco vending machines

Only one tobacco product vending machine is permitted per liquor licensed premises.

All tobacco vending machines placed into operation (no matter where they are located within the licensed premises) must have an appropriate staff intervention mechanism.

Definition

A vending machine is defined in the Act as a ‘device from which a tobacco product can be obtained by the insertion of a coin, banknote or token’.

Tobacco dispensing machines

Tobacco dispensing machines, which are located behind some counters at retail outlets such as petrol stations, will not be affected by the law banning unattended vending machines. Tobacco dispensing machines work via a manual locking mechanism operated by staff and do not require the insertion of a coin, banknote or token. Therefore they are not defined as a vending machine under the Act.

Types of vending machine systems

There are two main vending machine systems for operator assistance:

  • Remote control whereby a staff member points a remote control device at the vending machine to activate it, such as a car door lock remote control. The customer then inserts money into the machine, selects a product and receives it. The machine automatically switches itself off after dispensing a single packet of cigarettes.
  • Token operation, is where a customer obtains a token (roughly the same size as a 5 cent piece) from a staff member and inserts this into the vending machine to activate it. The customer then inserts their money and selects a product and a single packet is dispensed. The machine switches off automatically after each transaction.

Penalties

The maximum penalty for contravening this law is a fine of $5,000, an expiation fee of $315 can be issued.

Further information

For further information on the tobacco laws and vending machines, contact SA Health's Health Protection Operations on (08) 8226 7100.

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