For free and confidential legal advice about this topic, please contact us here.

Navigate this page

Buying cigarettes

If you are under 18, it is against the law for anyone to sell cigarettes to you.  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 over 18 to buy cigarettes for you.  Anyone who does can be fined.

Do I have to show ID?

If you’re buying cigarettes and you look like you might be under 18, the staff can ask you to provide valid ID.Valid ID includes:

  • a current drivers’ license; or
  • a valid proof of age card (including NSW Photo cards); or
  • a current passport.

Most staff will always ask you to provide ID if you look younger than 25. You cannot be forced to show ID by staff, but if you don’t, they probably won’t sell you cigarettes

Making or using a fake ID is usually against the law.  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 public places in the ACT.  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).

Some examples of places that are usually enclosed public 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
  • At an ‘underage function’.

It is also against the law to smoke in outdoor eating or drinking places, like the outdoor areas of:

  • Bars and clubs;
  • Restaurants, cafes, and food stalls;
  • Anywhere food and drink are served outdoors.

If you are caught smoking in such a place, the police can decide to:

  • give a warning; or
  • fine on the spot ($750 if smoking indoors, $110 if smoking outdoors); or
  • you can choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $750 if convicted of smoking indoors or outdoors).

Can I smoke in a car?

You cannot smoke in a car if there is someone younger than 16 in the car. If you are caught, you can:

  • be given a warning; or
  • be fined $250 on the spot by the police; or
  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $7,500 if convicted).

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 contact us here.

Got a question you can't get answered?

If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem. Just click on the button below.

Get help now

Select Your State or Territory

The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.