Lawstuff australia – know your rights – – topics – 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.

It is against the law to use a fake ID to buy cigarettes. For more information see our Fake ID page.

Can police confiscate my cigarettes if I am under 18?

The police can confiscate your cigarettes, or other smoking products (even if they don t contain tobacco) if they think you are under 18. You will be asked for ID first. Anything confiscated from you will not be returned.

The police may also ask you

  • your name and address

  • the name and address of a parent or guardian

  • who gave you the cigarettes.

If you are 14 or older, refusing to answer or lying to the police is against the law. You could be fined $100. The police can also tell your parents if you are found smoking, have cigarettes on you or try to buy cigarettes underage.

Where can I smoke?

Indoors

It is against the law to smoke in enclosed public places in Western 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 places that are usually enclosed public places are

  • Shopping centres, malls and plazas

  • Restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and dining areas

  • Pubs, clubs, nightclubs and bars (except designated smoking areas)

  • Schools, colleges and universities

  • Community centres, halls and places of public worship

  • Theatres, libraries, cinemas and galleries

  • Public transport (buses, trains, trams, aeroplanes, taxis, hire cars, ferries)

  • Gyms, fitness centres, bowling alleys and other sporting and recreational facilities

  • Hospitals

  • Professional, trade, commercial and other business premises

  • Hostels, motels and hotels (other than residential accommodation)

  • Childcare facilities.

Outdoors

It is also against the law to smoke outside

  • On a beach between the flags

  • Near where food or drink is served

  • Within 10 m of playground equipment.

Penalties

If you are caught smoking in a smoke free place you can

  • be given a warning or caution or

  • fined $300 on the spot by the police or

  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $2,000 if convicted).

It is up to the police whether to give you a warning or fine you, 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 17 in the car. If you are caught, you can be

  • be given a warning or caution or

  • be fined $200 on the spot by the police or

  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $1,000 if convicted).

Additional information

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

  • WA Health

  • Reach Out

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.

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