Got a question? Ask Lawmail

Send your questions to Lawmail

Can't find the info you are looking for?Got a problem you can’t solve?

If you're under 25, or an adult asking on behalf of a person under 18, you can send your questions to Lawmail and we will email an answer to you in under 10 days. Urgent matters are dealt with more quickly.

Go to Lawmail. It’s free and confidential.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.


·         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 can include 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?


The shop keeper can ask you for ID if they think you might be under 18.  Valid ID includes:


  • a current drivers’ license; or

  • a valid proof of age card (including NSW Photo cards); or

  • a current passport.


If you refuse, lie, or use fake ID, you are breaking the law.  You can be fined for doing so, and the police may confiscate the ID.  For more information see our Fake ID page.


Can anyone confiscate my cigarettes if I am under 18?


Police and school teachers can confiscate cigarettes from you if you are under 18.  The person who takes them is not allowed to return them to you.


Where can I smoke?


Indoor places


It is against the law to smoke in enclosed public places in South Australia.  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 these 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.


If you are caught smoking in one of these places, you can:


  • be given an informal caution; or

  • fined $75 on the spot by police (if you are 16 or older); or

  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you $200 if you are convicted).


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.  The possible fines are the same as for smoking in public places, above.


Additional information


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



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


This page was last updated 11 November 2014.