Tobacco and e-cigarette laws and businesses

In South Australia the sale, supply, promotion and use of tobacco and e-cigarettes is regulated by the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997.

Information is available on the following areas:

Changes to smoking laws in South Australia as of 31 March 2019

The Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 was renamed the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 as of 31 March 2019 and include the following changes to smoking laws.

  • new laws for electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products
  • increases in penalties and expiation fees’
  • a definition of ‘shisha’ tobacco
  • other minor administrative changes to improve the functioning of the Act, including some changes to definitions and removal of unnecessary provisions.

The new laws include a requirement for e-cigarette retailers to hold a Retail Tobacco and E-cigarette Merchant’s Licence. For more information, please see the retailer fact sheet (PDF 545KB).

For details of the changes, go to New e-cigarette laws and other changes to tobacco laws in South Australia.

The new laws are detailed in the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 and the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Regulations 2019.

Exemptions for the sale or supply of lawfully prescribed nicotine

From 1 October 2021, changes to the national classification of nicotine in the Poisons Standard clarify the regulation of nicotine as a Schedule 4 Prescription Only Medicine. This means that consumers will require a prescription to legally access nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping products for any purpose.  

To support the lawful sale or supply of nicotine as a Schedule 4 Prescription Only Medicine, the Government of South Australia has issued a Proclamation, commencing 1 October 2021, to exempt pharmacists and medical practitioners from certain offences under the e-cigarette laws to ensure they can sell or supply nicotine-containing e-cigarette products, without committing these offences.  Read more about the Exemptions

E-cigarette liquids

On 1 October 2021, Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products (E-Cigarette Liquid) Variation Regulations 2021 came into operation to clarify that an e-cigarette liquid is an e-cigarette product. The effects of this clarification are that:

  • e-cigarette laws, including the ban on sales to minors, advertising and display at the point of sale, as well as the indirect (including online) sales ban, apply to e-cigarette liquids; and
  • e-cigarette retailers need to comply with this clarification to the definition when selling e-cigarette liquids, ensuring flavours are not displayed.

Read more about the Regulations

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. Shisha tobacco is included under the definition of 'tobacco product' in the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997. Even shisha that does not contain tobacco is 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.

Quit smoking, information and support

Further information

For further information on tobacco and e-cigarette laws, contact SA Health's Health Protection Operations by:

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