Selling e-cigarettes in SA - Retailer Factsheet
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On 31 March 2019 the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 was renamed the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997. The new Act includes laws for electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products, increases in penalties and expiation fees, a new definition of ‘shisha’ and other minor administrative changes to improve the function of the Act.
The new laws are detailed in the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 (the Act), and the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Regulations 2019.
The regulation of e-cigarette products in South Australia is focused on protecting the community from the potential harms of e-cigarettes, and reducing the likelihood that children will be attracted to these devices, while still allowing adults to access these products. E-cigarette products are regulated in a similar way to how tobacco products are regulated.
As of 31 March 2019 the sale and supply of e-cigarette products in South Australia is regulated through the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997. The new laws cover all e-cigarette products, including e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories such as cartridges and liquids.
Under the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997, it is an offence to:
Adults will still be able to buy e-cigarette products, however there is no change to the ban on the sale of nicotine for use in e-cigarettes under the Controlled Substances Act 1984.
From 1 October 2019, to allow a six month transition period for e-cigarette retailers to make changes to their business operations, it is an offence to:
For e-cigarette retailers please see: Selling e-cigarettes in South Australia – Retailer Fact Sheet (PDF 336KB)
See also Frequently Asked Questions
From 31 March 2019, penalties and expiation fees for more than 40 offences under the Act increased, and expiation fees were added to some offences.
In particular, a new penalty structure for the sale or supply of tobacco products and e-cigarette products to a minor means that a proprietor of a business can be fined up to $20,000 for a first offence and up to $40,000 for a second and subsequent offence, and in any other case (such as an individual vendor), the maximum penalty is $5,000.
From 31 March 2019, a definition of ‘shisha tobacco’ is provided under section 4(1) of the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997, to make it clear that existing offences related to tobacco products, such as smoking in a smoke-free area, also apply to these products. ‘Shisha tobacco’ is defined as ‘a fibrous plant product (whether or not comprised of or containing tobacco) that is designed for smoking in a shisha, hookah, water pipe or similar device.’
An e-cigarette is a device that is designed to generate or release an aerosol or vapour for inhalation by its user in a manner similar to the inhalation of smoke from an ignited tobacco product.
Under the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997, an e-cigarette is defined as:
Under the Act, an e-cigarette product means:
Adults can still legally buy e-cigarette products that do not contain nicotine. There is no change to the ban on the sale of nicotine for use in e-cigarette products, which is covered under the Controlled Substances Act 1984. Nicotine is considered a dangerous poison under the national Poisons Standard and its access is restricted as a controlled substance under all state and territory legislation. It cannot be lawfully sold in Australia for use in e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes cannot be used in any area in which smoking is banned under the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997. This includes:
The expiation fee (on the spot fine) is $105, and the maximum penalty is $750.
From 1 October 2019 it is an offence in South Australia under the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 for e-cigarette retailers to sell e-cigarettes if the order is placed indirectly, such as via the internet. This aligns with the ban on the sale of tobacco products by indirect means that has been in place in South Australia for many years and will help reduce the availability of e-cigarette products to children.
Further information about South Australian tobacco and e-cigarette laws for businesses can be found under the Tobacco laws web pages:
or contact SA Health's Health Protection Operations by: