Changes to tobacco control legislation – March 2019

Tougher new tobacco laws come into effect across Western Australia on 18 March 2019.

Please Note: The Department of Health (DOH) will write to all licence holders advising of their obligations over the coming weeks, and will include copies of new health warning stickers required as well as detailed information on the latest changes in fact sheet form.

Changes affect sales of tobacco, signage and display, restricted smoking areas and administration of the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 (the Act), and are summarised below.

Sale of tobacco

Certain tobacco products prohibited from sale

Fruit- and confectionery-flavoured cigarettes are prohibited from sale.
Packages that are designed or are capable of being split into two or more portions containing fewer than 20 cigarettes are also banned from sale.

Shopping reward schemes banned

Shopping reward schemes are not allowed to include tobacco purchases.

No tobacco sales at sporting, cultural or other events

Tobacco licences will not be issued for the sale of tobacco products at sporting, cultural or other events, such as music festivals or market stalls.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE: From 18 September 2020 employees under the age of 18 years will be prohibited from selling tobacco products.

Signage and display

Tobacco price signs reduced to A4 size

Tobacco price signs or price boards (price boards) have been reduced in size to no larger than 297 mm x 210 mm (A4 size). Only one price board may be displayed. One price board may also be displayed for cigars in a cigar cabinet, which must also be no larger than 297 mm x 210 mm (A4 size).

Price boards must continue to have a white background with black lettering or a black background with white lettering, and no other colouring. The price board must not contain lettering or numbers that exceed 1cm, and must not contain lettering or numbers of different sizes or fonts. The price board must not present any information about a product line so as to make it stand out from information about any other products. Price tickets may be displayed, as per current conditions, but only if an information sign or price board is not displayed.

Price boards must display, at the top of the sign, an approved Quitline logo that is at least 2 cm in height, or at least 1 cm in height in the case of a price board for cigars.

Tobacco price signs legislation – 2019 updates (PDF 1MB)

Updated health warning signs

One of the following health warning signs must be located adjacent to an information sign (“Tobacco products sold here” or “Tobacco products and smoking implements sold here”), a price board or price tickets that accompany a tobacco sales unit or vending machine. The health warning sign must be A4 (297 mm x 210 mm) in size, or A5 (210 mm x 148 mm) in the case of a tobacco vending machine that is too small to display an A4-sized health warning sign.

Banner: smoking causes emphysema Banner: smoking causes peripheral vascular disease

Banner: smoking causes blindness Banner: smoking causes throat cancer

The health warning sign shown below must be located adjacent to the information sign, price board or price tickets that accompany a cigar cabinet or humidified room. The health warning sign must be A4 (297 mm x 210 mm) in size, or A7 (105 mm x 74 mm) in the case of a cigar cabinet that is designed to be portable and has a volume not exceeding 50 cm3.

Banner: cigar smoking causes lung cancer

The current warning sign (A5 size, below) about the prohibition on the sale of tobacco products and smoking implements to underage persons will continue to be required and must be above counter height and easily visible to a person when purchasing tobacco products or smoking implements.

Banner: it is illegal to sell a tobacco product or smoking implement to anyone under 18 or purchase on their behalf.

All of the new and existing warning signs detailed above will be distributed to tobacco licence holders free of charge by the Department of Health, and will also be available by contacting the Tobacco Control Branch on 1300 784 892, or email tcb@health.wa.gov.au.

Health warning signs legislation – 2019 updates (PDF 922KB)

No tobacco visible from a public place by specialist tobacco retailers

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. However, specialist tobacco retailers can display only cigars and cigar cutters within their stores provided they are not visible from outside their stores, and if a new cigar health warning sign is displayed (see new cigar health warning sign above).

Restricted smoking areas

Smoking is not allowed within 5 metres of a public entrance to an enclosed public place, and within 10 metres of air conditioning intakes.

No smoking outside enclosed public places legislation – 2019 updates (PDF 907KB)

Administration of the Act

Enforcement agencies, such as the Department of Transport and local government authorities will be able to appoint restricted investigators following guidelines issued by the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Health.

Enforcement

The primary role of the Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Branch, is to coordinate, develop and conduct activities to promote industry and community compliance with legislation. While those who openly flout the new laws may be prosecuted by the department’s Tobacco Control Investigators, an educational approach will be taken over the first six months to support these regulatory changes and allow retailers to make the necessary adjustments.

Enforcement activities include the provision of education and advice, advisory visits and compliance checks, as well as licensing and formal enforcement action such as service of ‘On the Spot’ fines and prosecution action.

Penalties for new provisions

Individual and company fines may apply for any breaches of legislation. All staff are responsible to ensure they do what is right. Fines up to $10,000 for a first offence and up to $20,000 for second and subsequent offences may apply for those responsible for a breach. Note that if your business operates as a company, fines of up to $40,000 for a first offence and up to $80,000 for second and subsequent offences may apply.

Alternatively, modified penalties apply for some of the offences, and individuals may be issued an infringement notice and liable to pay ‘On the Spot’ fines.

A summary of the new penalties applicable is provided in the table below.

Breach of tobacco law “On the Spot” Infringement Maximum Penalties

Individual Company
Sale of a tobacco product by an employee under the age of 18 years

Note: this law applies from 18 September 2020
$1,000 First offence: $10,000 Subsequent offence: $20,000 First offence: $40,000 Subsequent offence: $80,000
Sale of fruit- or confectionery-flavoured cigarettes $1,000 First offence: $10,000 Subsequent offence: $20,000 First offence: $40,000 Subsequent offence: $80,000
Sale of cigarettes in a pack containing fewer than 20 cigarettes $1,000 First offence: $10,000 Subsequent offence: $20,000 First offence: $40,000 Subsequent offence: $80,000
Including tobacco products in shopper rewards schemes - First offence: $10,000 Subsequent offence: $20,000 First offence: $40,000 Subsequent offence: $80,000
Specialist retailers Displaying tobacco products or smoking implements (except cigars and cigar cutters) where they can be seen from a public place outside the premises. Failure to display a health warning sign immediately adjacent to the display $1,000 First offence: $10,000 Subsequent offence: $20,000 First offence: $40,000 Subsequent offence: $80,000
Failure to display a health warning sign adjacent to the information sign, price board or price tickets that accompany a tobacco sales unit $200 $1,000 $1,000
Display of a price information sign or price board that is larger than A4 size (297 mm x 210 mm) $1,000 First offence: $10,000 Subsequent offence: $20,000 First offence: $40,000 Subsequent offence: $80,000
Smoking within 5 metres of a public entrance to an enclosed public place

Note: the penalty applies to the person smoking
$200 $1,000  
Smoking within 10 metres of air conditioning intakes

Note: the penalty applies to the person smoking
$200 $1,000  
Failure to comply with an investigator’s direction to stop smoking within 5 metres of a public entrance to an enclosed public place, and within 10 metres of air conditioning intakes

Note: the penalty applies to the person smoking
$300 $2,000  
Last reviewed: 14-03-2019
Produced by

Tobacco Control Branch