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Tobacco retailing

Tobacco product sale, advertising, display and promotion

Tobacco retailing laws state that:

  • all smoking products must be kept out of sight of customers and be concealed by an opaque covering (viewed only incidentally by the extent required to carry out a transaction)
  • only 1 point of sale is allowed at a retail outlet
  • a mandatory sign must be displayed at the single point of sale and be easily visible to a person purchasing a smoking product as the person approaches the point of sale and at the time of purchase
  • smoking products must only be kept at a retail outlet on the seller’s side of the point of sale, in a room or other place not accessed by customers (except for cigars in humidified rooms when accompanied by the supplier or employee).

Mandatory signs

A legislative amendment has been made to change the wording of the mandatory sign that must be displayed by all smoking product retailers.

The words ‘maximum penalty $42,000’ are being replaced with the words ‘penalties apply’.

Retailers are permitted to display the mandatory sign with either wording until 30 June 2015, after which the sign with the new wording must be displayed.

The free mandatory signs and tobacco retailing information booklet are available for order by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Electronic cigarettes

From 1 January 2015, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)—defined under Queensland law as personal vapourisers—and their related components, will be subject to the same laws as regular cigarettes.

Under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998, e-cigarettes cannot be:

  • used in existing no-smoking indoor and outdoor places
  • sold to children under 18 years of age
  • advertised, promoted or displayed at retail outlets.

Tobacco vending machines

Tobacco vending machines may only be in liquor licensed premises at:

  • bar areas (within 5 metres of the bar and use of the machine is able to be easily observed by staff behind the bar)
  • gaming machine areas (within 1 metre of a gaming machine and able to be easily observed by staff)
  • casinos.

Black and white price tickets are permitted on the machine.

Tobacco advertising and graphic representations of cigarette packages on the machine are prohibited.

Children under 18 years must not use the machine.

Ice pipe and bong prohibition

A person must not sell, commercially supply or display ice pipes or bongs in or near a shop, including market stalls, in Queensland.

Retailers who sell and display these implements must comply with the laws and remove all ice pipes and bongs, including their components, from sale and display.

Queensland Health Environmental Health Officers and Queensland Police Officers are authorised to enforce the ice pipe and bong prohibition.

The full restrictions are listed in ‘Part 2D Prohibited Products’ of the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (PDF, 646 KB).

Employee training

A supplier must train their employees about the sale of smoking products to children, either over-the-counter or from accessing a vending machine. This training is required by law.

The Employee Training Acknowledgement form must be used to show written evidence of this training. This form can also be requested by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Over-the-counter sales

A supplier must train their employees about not selling smoking products to children.

This employee training must:

  • instruct staff not to sell smoking products to children in any circumstances, and to sight acceptable evidence of age for a person before selling a smoking product to them, unless staff are satisfied the person is an adult
  • warn staff that if they sell smoking products to children in disregard of your instruction, they may face a fine
  • obtain written acknowledgement from each employee that they have received the instructions and warning.

Vending machine sales

A supplier must train their employees about preventing child access to the machine.

Temporary retail outlets

From 1 September 2016, suppliers are prohibited from selling smoking products from a temporary retail store.

A temporary retail store is defined as:

  • a temporary structure, regardless of whether any part of the structure is permanent
  • a vehicle or mobile structure, including a trailer, caravan or other similar thing designed or modified to be easily attached to a vehicle for transportation. Examples of temporary structures include a booth, tent, market stall or stand.
Last updated: 15 April 2016

Forms and templates

Download and print:

  • smoking management plan template
  • sample smoking management plan
  • requirements for retailers
  • electronic cigarettes factsheet for retailers
  • employee information and training acknowledgement form.