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Cigarettes

·         When can I buy cigarettes?

·         Do I have to show ID?

·         Can the police confiscate my cigarettes?

·         Where can I smoke?

·         Can I smoke when wearing my school uniform?

·         Can I smoke in a car?

 

When can I buy cigarettes?

It is against the law for anyone to sell cigarettes to you if you are under 18.  This includes herbs and other things that are smoked, even if they do not contain tobacco.  Anyone who sells cigarettes to someone under 18 can be heavily fined.

It is also against the law for someone else to buy cigarettes for you.  Anyone who does can be fined.

 

Do I have to show ID?

You cannot be forced to show ID.  But if you don’t, the shop keeper probably won’t sell you cigarettes.  Valid ID includes:

  • a current drivers’ license; or
  • a valid proof of age card (including NSW Photo cards); or
  • a current passport.

Making or using a fake ID is usually against the law.  For more information see our Fake ID page.

 

Can police confiscate my cigarettes if I am under 18?

There is no law which says the police can confiscate your cigarettes just because you are under 18.

 

Where can I smoke?

It is against the law to smoke in enclosed public places in the ACT.  Enclosed public places are places that are open to the public, have a roof, and are mostly surrounded by walls (even if there are doors or open passageways).  This includes places you have to pay to enter (like a theatre).

Some examples of places that are usually enclosed public places are:

  • Shopping centres;
  • Restaurants, cafes and dining areas;
  • Pubs, clubs and bars (except designated smoking areas);
  • Schools, colleges and universities;
  • Community centres, halls and churches;
  • Theatres, libraries and galleries;
  • Public transport (buses, trains, trams, aeroplanes, taxis, ferries);
  • Gyms and sporting facilities;
  • Hospitals.

It is also against the law to smoke in outdoor eating or drinking places, like the outdoor areas of:

  • Bars and clubs;
  • Restaurants, cafes, and food stalls;
  • Anywhere food and drink are served outdoors.

If you are caught smoking in such a place, you can:

  • be given a warning; or
  • be fined on the spot by police ($220 if smoking indoors, $110 if smoking outdoors);
  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $750 if convicted of smoking indoors or outdoors).

It is up to the police whether to give you a warning, but you can always choose to go to court instead. 

 

Can I smoke when wearing my school uniform?

Some schools have rules about how you can behave when wearing school uniform. If your school has these kinds of rules, you may get in trouble for smoking in school uniform.  For more information, ask your school for information about its uniform and smoking policies.


Can I smoke in a car?

You cannot smoke in a car if there is someone younger than 16 in the car.  If you are caught, you can:

  • be given a warning; or
  • be fined $250 on the spot by the police; or
  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $7,500 if convicted).

 

Additional information

If you would like more information, you may like to visit:

ACT Health

Reach Out

 


 

This page was last updated 11 November 2014.