The Public Health Act 1997 was introduced to reduce smoking and its harms to Tasmanians, particularly young people. Let’s explore some of these laws in more detail.

Tobacco laws about advertising

In Australia, tobacco advertising is not allowed on television and radio (since 1976) and newspapers and magazines (since 1992).

In Tasmania, it is illegal to display tobacco products in retail shops such as supermarkets, newsagents and corner stores.

It is also illegal to sell toys or confectionary that look like a cigarette or tobacco products that have fruit or confectionery flavours.

Tobacco companies are not allowed to promote the sale of cigarettes or use tobacco advertisements.

In 2012 the Australian Government introduced ‘plain packaging’ of tobacco products. This means that no company logos, bright colours or images and misleading information can be used on the packaging of tobacco products, such as cigarettes.

Tobacco laws about selling cigarettes and tobacco products to young people

In Tasmania, all retailers selling cigarettes must have a licence and this may be cancelled if the laws relating to the sale of tobacco products are broken.

It is illegal for anyone to sell or supply a tobacco product to a person under 18 years of age. Children who ask adults or retailers for cigarettes are asking that person to break the law!

Tobacco laws about false information

In Tasmania, it is illegal for tobacco companies to provide false information to anyone about the tobacco laws or about the health effects of using tobacco products. There a big penalties in place if this law is broken.

Tobacco laws about smoking to protect people from secondhand smoke

In Tasmania, there are a range of public places that are smoke-free. These are the areas where you cannot smoke:

  • Enclosed public places such as shopping centres, pubs and restaurants
  • Inside workplaces
  • For public buildings, within 3 metres of entry or exits and 10 metres of air intakes for ventilation equipment
  • Inside cars with children
  • Inside work cars when two or more people are present
  • Bus malls and shelters (within 3 metres)
  • Pedestrian malls such as Elizabeth Street and Salamanca Square in Hobart, Brisbane Street and Quadrant Malls in Launceston and Rooke Street in Devonport
  • Competition and seating areas of sporting events (within 20 metres)
  • Children’s playgrounds (within 10 metres)
  • Public swimming pools
  • Between the flags at patrolled beaches
  • Some public events

Laws around the world

In May 2003, the World Health Organisation adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world’s first global public health treaty. By signing and ratifying the treaty, countries commit to a host of measures to reduce the devastating health, social and economic impacts of tobacco. Australia was one of the first parties to sign the treaty on 5 December 2003.