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 or gives cigarettes to someone under 18 can be heavily 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.

It is against the law to use a fake ID to buy cigarettes.  You can be fined for doing so, and the police may confiscate the ID.  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 and workplaces in the Northern Territory.  Enclosed places are places that 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 where smoking is illegal 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 illegal to smoke in outdoor areas where food or drink is served, like outdoor cafes and restaurants.



If you are caught smoking in any of these places, unless there were no signs or other easy way of knowing the place was a smoke-free area, you may:

  • be given a warning; or
  • be fined $100 on the spot by police;
  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $2,740 if convicted).

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


Can I smoke in a car?

At current, there is no law which says you cannot smoke in a car in the Northern Territory.


Additional information

If you would like more information, you can visit:

Alternatively, if you would like more detailed advice or have a specific problem, you can send us a Lawmail.

Last updated: June 2012