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Tobacco reforms

This site provides information about Victoria's anti-smoking initiatives comprising the regulation of the sale and display of tobacco products and reduction of environmental tobacco smoke through legislation.

The Tobacco Act 1987 can be viewed at website.

What's new

Ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas to start in 2017

On 23 August 2015, the Victorian Government announced that smoking will be banned in outdoor dining areas from 1 August 2017. The proposed ban will cover all outdoor dining areas at restaurants, cafes, take-away shops and licenced premises.

Smoke-free dining will protect the community from second-hand smoke, and make Victoria’s diverse and unique dining culture better for all. Research shows 73 per cent of Victorians support the introduction of a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.

Consultation will start soon with key stakeholders including the hospitality industry, small business, local government, public health bodies and government agencies. The consultation process will inform development of the legislation, including practical considerations and issues. The Victorian approach will also learn from the experience of other Australian states and territories in introducing similar bans.

The announcement is being made now, to give businesses sufficient time to plan and adjust. The Government is committed to working with our pubs, restaurants, cafés and all affected businesses to ensure a smooth transition to smoke-free dining. The Tobacco Reforms website will be kept updated during the legislative development process.

Have your say

The Victorian Government is committed to consulting widely before implementing the new ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas. To contribute your views, please send an email to the Tobacco Control Section in the Department of Health & Human Services to

Victoria has new outdoor smoking bans

Smoking to be banned at learning environments and certain building entrances

From 13 April 2015, smoking will be banned:

  • within the grounds of, and at and within four metres of an entrance to, all Victorian childcare centres, kindergartens (or preschools) and primary and secondary schools
  • at and within four metres of an entrance to children’s indoor play centres and Victoria public premises. Victoria public premises are all public hospitals and registered community health centres and certain Victorian Government buildings.

Read more about smoke-free building entrances and smoke-free learning environments.

Children at play. Please don't smoke here. State Government Victoria

Smoking ban where children play

From Tuesday 1 April, 2014, smoking is banned outdoors within 10 meters of playgrounds and skate parks, sporting venues during under 18s events and within public swimming pool grounds.

Read more about smoke-free children's recreational areas.

Tobacco reforms affecting applications for specialist tobacconist certification

From 1 April 2014, applications for specialist tobacconist certification will close. This means from this date, a person will not be able to apply to have a premises certified as a specialist tobacconist and therefore will not be exempt from the tobacco product display ban.

See certified specialist tobacconists for further information on the changes to the law affecting applications for specialist tobacconist certifications.

Supporting patients to be smokefree: An ABCD approach in Victorian health services

Supporting patients to be smokefree: an ABCD approach in Victorian health services is a Department of Health initiative that aims to support patients in Victorian health services to quit smoking.

Read more at Supporting patients to be smokefree: An ABCD approach in Victorian health services

Train stations, tram shelters and platforms, and bus shelters now smoke-free

From Saturday 1 March 2014, all areas of train stations and raised platform tram stops will be smoke free, increasing the comfort for customers who travel on Victoria’s public transport network.

The new arrangements will extend the existing smoke free zones, which already include covered areas of train platforms and under covered tram and bus shelters. The fine for smoking in a smoke free area on public transport is $212 for adults and $72 for children.

For more information about these bans, visit the Public Transport Victoria website.

Shopper loyalty and rewards schemes must now exclude tobacco product purchases

From 1 March 2013 tobacco products must be excluded from shopper loyalty and rewards schemes. This means tobacco product purchases must not count towards any benefits or rewards for buying behaviour. This includes rewards points, fuel discounts coupons or any other benefit.

Competitions, rewards and shopper loyalty schemes fact sheet

Victoria's patrolled beaches are now smoke-free

From 1 December 2012 smoking is banned at all of Victorias patrolled beaches in the area between the red-and-yellow lifesaving flags and within a 50 metre radius of a red-and-yellow flag.

The ban will apply during patrolled times, when one or more red-and-yellow flags installed by a Life Saving Victoria club are in place.

Under the Victorian Tobacco Act 1987 smoking is now unlawful within these areas and could result in being issued with an infringement penalty of up to $141.

Some councils have also introduced local laws that prohibit smoking in public outdoor places, including other beach areas. Check the signs when you get to the beach.

This ban will protect beach users from exposure to second-hand smoke, stop children seeing people smoke (which may influence their decision to smoke as adults) and reduce environmental damage from butt littering.

Smoke-free patrolled beaches brochure

Smoke-free patrolled beaches factsheet

Tobacco retailers including premises with vending machines

From 1 January 2011, retailers selling tobacco were banned from displaying tobacco products. Tobacco products must not be visible from anywhere inside or outside most retail outlets. Tobacco products are also banned from being displayed on vending machines.

  Tobacco retailers fact sheet

An exemption applies to on-airport duty free shops and certified specialist tobacconists. For further information please refer to Information for certified specialist tobacconists.

  Certified Specialist Tobacconist Fact Sheet

In August 2009, the Victorian Parliament passed the Tobacco Amendment (Protection of Children) Act 2009 to amend Tobacco Act 1987. These amendments include:

These laws, with the exception of the point-of-sale tobacco display ban, commenced on 1 January 2010. The point-of-sale display law commenced on 1 January 2011. Fact sheets are available below.

A copy of the Tobacco Amendment (Protection of Children) Act 2009 is available on the Victorian Legislation website.

  Fact sheet: Ban on smoking in motor vehicles if a person under the age of 18 is present

  Fact sheet: Ban on the sale of tobacco from temporary outlets

  Fact sheet: Ministerial power to ban certain products

  Fact sheet: Penalties and infringements