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Recent changes to tobacco laws

Tougher new tobacco laws came into effect across Western Australia on 18 March 2019, with the Department of Health allowing a six month lead-in period to allow people to get to grips with the changes.

The new laws are designed to promote community health and reduce tobacco exposure to children. They will lead to WA having some of the toughest tobacco laws in the country.

With new, higher penalties you need to understand how they could affect your business. The changes are predominantly around:

  • tobacco sales
  • signage and display
  • restricted smoking areas and
  • administration of the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 (the Act).

Sales

  • Shopping reward schemes are not allowed to include tobacco purchases.
  • The sale of fruit and confectionery-flavoured cigarettes and split-pack cigarettes are banned.
  • Tobacco licences will not be issued for the sale of associated products at sporting, cultural or other events, such as music festivals or market stalls.
  • From 18 September 2020,  it will be illegal for children under the age of 18 to sell tobacco products in retail outlets.

Signage and display

  • Updated health warnings must be displayed next to where tobacco information or price signage is publicly displayed.
  • Tobacco price information signs or price boards are to be no larger than A4.
  • Specialist tobacco retailers are no longer allowed to display tobacco products or smoking implements where they can be seen from a public place outside the premises. Cigar retailers must also display a new cigar health warning sign.

Restricted smoking areas

  • Smoking is not allowed within five metres of a public entrance to an enclosed public place, and within 10 metres of air conditioning intakes.

Failure to comply with the new laws could lead to on-the-spot fines or prosecution.

Visit the Department of Health website for more information these new laws.

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