Tobacco related legislation

Tobacco is regulated through the following State and Commonwealth legislation:

Legislative history

1970s

  • 1973 - first health warnings appear on cigarette packaging.
  • 1976 - tobacco product advertising on television and radio is banned, except accidental or incidental advertising.

1980s

  • 1985 - state and territory governments amend their legislation to include four new health warnings for tobacco product packaging.
  • 1987 - smoking is banned on Australian domestic flights.
  • 1988 - the Tobacco Products Control Act 1988 is passed in South Australia. Advertising at sporting events (some exemptions) is banned in South Australia.
  • 1989 - advertising is banned in print media, for example magazines.

1990s

  • 1992 - the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 is passed by the Australian Parliament, eventually banning all forms of tobacco advertising, except point-of-sale advertising which is the jurisdiction of the states and territories.
  • 1992 - the Australian Government makes major changes to the excise and customs duty on tobacco products and prices increase significantly.
  • 1994 - the legal age for purchasing tobacco products is increased in South Australia to 18 years of age.
  • 1994 - smoking on public transport is banned in South Australia.
  • 1995 - the Australian Parliament amends the Trade Practices Act 1974 to ensure uniform labelling of health warnings on tobacco products.
  • 1996 - smoking is banned on international flights.
  • 1997 - the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 is passed in South Australia.
  • 1999 - smoke-free indoor dining is introduced in South Australia.

2000s

  • 2004 - all enclosed workplaces and public places (except licensed hospitality venues) become smoke-free in South Australia.
  • 2004/05 - restrictions are placed on the number of points of sale of tobacco products and separate retail tobacco licences are required for each premises that sells tobacco products in South Australia.
  • 2005 - tobacco product advertising at the point-of-sale is banned in South Australia.
  • 2006 - nationally, graphic health warning labels for tobacco products are introduced.
  • 2006 - the sale of fruit flavoured cigarettes is banned in South Australia. The sale of cigarette packets that can be divided into portions of less than 20 cigarettes is banned in South Australia.
  • 2007 - the South Australian Government bans smoking in vehicles when children under 16 are present. All enclosed workplaces, public places and shared areas become smoke-free, including pubs, clubs, bingo venues and the Casino in South Australia. Further restrictions on the display of tobacco products, are introduced in South Australia, including the need to display a graphic health warning poster where products are on display and limiting the size of tobacco product displays.
  • 2008 - customer loyalty schemes for tobacco products are banned in South Australia. There is a ban on the retail sale of tobacco via mail, telephone, facsimile transmission, internet or other electronic communication and purchases from all tobacco vending machines must have staff intervention in South Australia.
  • 2009 - the display of tobacco products at temporary stalls is banned in South Australia.

2010s

  • 2012 - the South Australian Government bans the point-of-sale display of tobacco products in all retail outlets except in specialist tobacconists. Smoking is banned in all South Australian covered passenger transport waiting areas and within 10 metres of children's playground equipment. Local councils and other bodies in South Australia are able to apply to have a certain area or event declared non-smoking.
  • 2012  the Australian Government extends existing advertising restrictions to internet advertising of tobacco products. The Australian Government reduces the duty free allowance for tobacco products from 250 grams to 50 grams per person. Plain packaging of tobacco products and expanded graphic health warnings are introduced by the Australian Government. 
  • 2014 - exemption from point-of-sale display bans for specialist tobacconists in South Australia ends.
  • 2016 - the South Australian Government bans smoking in all outdoor dining areas in which tables, or tables and chairs, are permanently or temporarily provided for the purpose of public dining.
  • 2017  the Australian Government further reduces the duty free tobacco allowance to 25 grams of duty free tobacco (cigarette, loose leaf, etc.), plus one open packet; equivalent to approximately 25 cigarettes.
  • 2017 the Australian Government introduces laws for the harmonisation of the taxation of roll-your-own tobacco and other products such as cigars with manufactured cigarettes.
  • 2018  the South Australian Government increases penalites and expiation fees, adds a definition of 'shisha' tobacco, and introduces other minor administrative changes to improve the functioning of the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997.
  • 2018  the South Australian Government introduces laws banning the sale of e-cigarettes to children, the retail sale of e-cigarette products without a licence, the sale of e-cigarettes for temporary outlets, sales of e-cigarette products through trays and vending machines, the use of e-cigarettes in areas that are smoke-free under the Act, and the provision of, or the offering of, free samples, prizes, gifts or other benefits, in connection to the sale of e-cigarette products.  These laws commenced on 31 March 2019.
  • 2018  the South Australian Government bans advertising and promotion of e-cigarette products, the display of e-cigarette products at the point-of-sale, and the sale of e-cigarette products by indirect orders (including internet sales).  These laws, came into effect on 1 October 2019.

Further information

For further information on tobacco related legislation, contact SA Health's Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia on telephone: (08) 7425 5000.