Point of sale display restrictions for tobacco and e-cigarette retailers

Under the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Regulations 2019, tobacco products must not be visible from anywhere inside or outside a retail outlet. The ban also applies to vending machines and duty free shops. Pictures of tobacco products are not permitted to be shown. Information below is available on:

Display of e-cigarette products

From 1 October 2019, it will be an offence to display e-cigarette products. For more information, see the Selling E-Cigarettes in South Australia  Retailers Fact Sheet (PDF 336KB).


A ‘point of sale’ refers to:

  • a contiguous retail service counter from which tobacco products can be purchased
  • a tobacco vending machine.
  • A premises with a liquor licence refers to a business licensed under Part 3 of the Liquor Licensing Act, and does not include a Retail Liquor Merchant’s Licence under section 37 of that Act. For example specialised liquor outlets, including those located within supermarkets.

A specialist tobacconist is a person who sells tobacco products by retail and the gross turnover of all tobacco products sold constitutes 80% or more of the gross turnover of all products sold.

A prescribed specialist tobacconist is defined as a person who was, immediately prior to the commencement of the 2012 regulations, carrying on a business as a specialist tobacconist. The premises of a prescribed specialist tobacconist does not include premises if, at any time after 1 January 2012, the person:

  • ceases, temporarily or permanently, to be a specialist tobacconist; or
  • ceases to hold a current licence for the premises; or
  • transfers or assigns the licence to the premises of another person.

Once a premises ceases to be the premises of a prescribed specialist tobacconist, it cannot be regained.

Regulations regarding displaying tobacco products

The display of tobacco products is prohibited in retail outlets in South Australia.

Under the regulations, tobacco products must not be visible from anywhere inside or outside a retail outlet. Tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars and any non-tobacco product that is designed for smoking. This includes cigarette packets, shisha tobacco, cartons, single cigars, loose tobacco, cigarette papers and filters.

Matches and cigarette lighters are not considered to be tobacco products and therefore can be displayed.

The ban also applies to vending machines and duty free shops. Pictures of tobacco products are not permitted to be shown.

Ways to prevent people from seeing tobacco products in retail outlets

There are a number of ways to cover or remove tobacco products completely out of view. For example:

  • a simple non-transparent curtain
  • drawers with a non-transparent front
  • shelves covered with an opaque flap
  • cupboards with sliding doors.

What can be displayed

You may display one prescribed tobacco notice inside your premises which shows that you sell tobacco.

A prescribed tobacco notice must consist only of black text on a white background. The text must be no larger than 40mm in height, with the words "Tobacco products sold here" or "Cigarette cartons sold here" or "Cigarettes sold here".

Price tickets and price boards

Price tickets: Price tickets are permitted but must be compliant with the regulations. These regulations cover the size, colour and information that can be displayed on the tickets. Advertising of discounted tobacco products using 'Special' price tickets or other means is prohibited.

Price boards: One prescribed price board is permitted. The total surface area of the board (including, in the case of a sandwich board, the combined surface area of both sides) must not be larger than 0.5m2, or 1m2 in specialist tobacconists. It must have black text in a standard font not exceeding 20mm in height on a white background. The information allowed on the price board is the same as for price tickets.

Price lists: Price lists such as loose sheets of paper that can be handed to customers are not permitted.

Managing incidental viewing of tobacco products

Retailers are expected to take all reasonable measures to prevent the visibility of tobacco products. For example, if cigarettes are stored in a cupboard, the cupboard doors must be closed as soon as the tobacco product has been removed.

The genuine restocking of tobacco products during business hours is permitted, however retailers should take every care to ensure that exposure to tobacco products by the public is kept to a minimum.

Incidental viewing of a tobacco product during the sale or delivery of a tobacco product is permitted.

A tobacco product can only be displayed to a customer at his or her direct request.


If a tobacco retailer displays tobacco products, other than incidental viewing, the maximum penalty is $10,000 with an expiation fee of $1000.

Specialist and prescribed specialist tobacconists

Specialist and prescribed specialist tobacconists are required to comply with a different set of regulations.

Applying for a variation to the license

Application to vary the condition

In accordance with Section 9 (3), the Minister for Health and Wellbeing can vary licence conditions. If you wish to apply for a variation to your licence condition to allow more points of sale than those prescribed above, please contact Health Protection Operations on (08) 8226 7100.

Criteria for assessment

Assessments on whether to allow more points of sale will occur taking into account your specific circumstances and may include consideration of, but not be limited to the:

  • points of sale are in separate specialised areas
  • impracticability of accessing a point of sale from another area within the premises, due to the distance between them, or other relevant difficulties relating to access
  • trading hours of separate areas.

Further information

For further information on the tobacco laws for businesses, please contact: