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.
From 1 April 2014, several changes to the Tobacco Act 1987 (the Act) will be made. This includes smoking bans at certain outdoor public areas and changes to specialist tobacconist certification.
The Tobacco Act 1987 can be viewed at http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/.
Smoking to be banned at certain building entrances
On 5 August 2014. the Tobacco Amendment Bill 2014 was introduced into Parliament. The Bill will introduce further outdoor smoking bans to prohibit smoking:
- 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.
The Bill will also quadruple the penalty for possession of illicit tobacco by retailers and wholesalers, and will amend the powers of entry for inspectors to enhance enforcement of outdoor smoking bans.
Government to introduce smoke-free dining
On 4 August 2014, the Minister for Health announced that smoking will be banned in outdoor dining areas as part of the Victorian Government’s reforms to protect people from second-hand smoke.
This will ensure that anyone visiting a restaurant, café, pub or any other venue that offers outdoor dining can do so without the risk of being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.
The Government will soon commence consultation with key industry stakeholders to ensure that businesses and groups affected by the outdoor dining ban have an opportunity to discuss its implications.
This feedback will assist the Government to determine the details of the ban. The Government will also consider advice and research from health experts such as VicHealth and Quit Victoria.
It is anticipated these reforms will be introduced during the next term of Parliament.
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 publich 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.
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:
- a ban on the display of tobacco products at point-of-sale with an exemption for certified 'specialist tobacconists'
- smoking bans in a motor vehicle if a person under the age of 18 years is present
- a ban on the sale of tobacco products from temporary outlets
- a power for the Minister for Health to ban the sale of certain tobacco products and packaging that appeal to young people
- amendments to penalties and enforcement provisions including:
- amending the definition of 'occupier'
- power for the Secretary of the Department of Health (formerly Department of Human Services) to request the names and addresses of persons supplied with tobacco in an electronic format
- increases to the maximum infringement penalties for a number of offences, and specific provisions for higher ‘body corporate’ offences.
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