Tobacco laws and businesses

New e-cigarette laws and changes to tobacco laws in South Australia

Under proposed changes to the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) will be regulated in South Australia.

A key aim of the new laws is to prevent the use of e-cigarettes by children and protect people in smoke-free areas from exposure to e-cigarette vapour, while still allowing access by adults who choose to purchase these products. 
The changes will ban the following:

  • sales of e cigarettes to children
  • using e cigarettes in smoke-free areas under the Act
  • retail sales of e cigarette products without a licence
  • indirect sales of e cigarettes (such as internet sales)
  • e-cigarettes advertising, promotion, specials and price promotions
  • retail point of sale displays of e cigarettes
  • e cigarette sales from temporary outlets, sales trays and vending machines.

In addition, there will be some changes to definitions, removal of unnecessary provisions, adding expiations to offences where they currently do not occur and improving the function of certain sections. Penalties and expiation fees for more than 40 offences under the Act will also increase. A definition will be included for ‘shisha tobacco’, to make it clear that offences related to tobacco products also apply to these products.

The changes are detailed in the the Government’s Tobacco Products Regulation (E-Cigarettes and Review) Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill).
It is expected that the new laws will come into effect in the first quarter of 2019. More details about the changes will be updated when they are available.

In South Australia the sale, distribution, use of tobacco and areas where smoking is prohibited is regulated by the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997.

Information is available on the following areas:

Businesses where waterpipe products including shisha and hookahs, are sold or used

Water pipe smoking is a traditional method of smoking tobacco around the world, with a variety of types and names including shisha and hookah. Water pipes and water pipe products are covered under the definition of 'tobacco product' in the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 as they are designed for smoking. Even water pipes that do not contain tobacco are classified as a 'tobacco product' under the Act.

The smoking of waterpipes cannot occur in enclosed areas or in outdoor areas where outdoor dining laws apply. These are the same laws that apply for tobacco products.

  • Failure to comply with relevant laws will result in penalties and/or loss of licence.

Smoke-free workplaces

Workplace exposure to passive smoking is a significant occupational health and safety hazard. Smoking is banned in all enclosed workplaces. A smoke-free workplaces guide (PDF 2.81MB) has been developed to assist in workplaces to meet the legal requirements and to support workplaces wishing to go beyond the legislative requirements. The SA Health Healthy Workers – Healthy Futures initiative has been developed to assist employers in making their workplaces smoke-free.

Further information

For further information on the tobacco laws, contact SA Health's Health Protection Operations by:

Useful links

Government websites

Department of Health and Ageing, Commonwealth

ACT Health

Department of Health and Community Services, Northern Territory

NSW Health

Queensland Health

Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania

Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria

Department of Health, Western Australia

Australian websites


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