Lawstuff australia – know your rights – – topics – cigarettes

It is against the law for anyone to sell cigarettes to you if you are under 18.

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 drivers license or

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

  • a 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 workplaces in Victoria, but there are a few exceptions. Enclosed workplaces are places that have a roof, are mostly surrounded by walls (even if there are doors or open passageways), and where at least one person works (even if they don t get paid).

Some examples of places that are usually enclosed workplaces are indoor areas of

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  • Shopping centres

  • Restaurants, cafes and dining areas

  • Pubs, bars and clubs

  • Schools, colleges and universities (and your school may have a no smoking rule)

  • Community centres, halls and churches

  • Theatres, libraries and galleries

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

  • Gyms and sporting facilities

  • Hospitals

  • Anywhere when an underage music event is taking place

If you are caught smoking in such a place you may

  • be given a warning or

  • be given a formal caution or

  • be fined on the spot by the police ($147.61) or

  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $738.05 if convicted).

It is up to the police whether to give you a warning, formal caution or on the spot fine.

It s not illegal to smoke outdoor areas that aren t in the list above. However there are a number of specific outdoor areas where smoking is not allowed. These include

  • Patrolled beaches

  • Outdoor areas at public swimming pools

  • At or near a children s playground

  • At or near a skate park

  • At or near an outdoor sporting venue, such as a playing field, track, arena or court

Although it is not a crime for a person less than 18 years old to smoke in these areas, you may be asked to stop. If you respond to the police in a way which is offensive, you may be charged with another crime, so it s best to follow what they are asking you to do.

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 18 in the car. If you are caught you can

  • be given a warning or

  • be given a formal caution or

  • be fined on the spot by the police ($295.22) or

  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $738.05 if convicted).

Additional information

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

  • Victoria 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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