- Tougher new tobacco laws come into effect across Western Australia on Monday
- Amendments aim to reduce children's exposure to tobacco and improve community health
- Changes will affect sales, signage, smoking areas and administration of the Act
Tougher new laws designed to promote improved community health and reduce tobacco exposure to children come into effect on Monday (March 18).
Announced in September 2018, the amendments to the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 aim to reduce tobacco-related harm to the community.
The reforms build on the State's existing laws and now gives Western Australia some of the toughest tobacco laws in the country, especially with regards to protecting children.
Introduction of the new laws follows review and analysis by health authorities, as well as consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The Department of Health will take an educational approach to the new changes, with a six-month lead-in period, to allow people to ease into the latest tobacco laws.
The strengthened tobacco legislative changes are as follows:
- Shopping reward schemes are not allowed to include tobacco purchases.
- The sale of fruit- and confectionery-flavoured cigarettes and split-pack cigarettes are banned/outlawed.
- 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.
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 will be reduced in size to 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. However, specialist tobacco retailers will be able to 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.
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.
Administration of the Act
- Enforcement agencies, such as the Department of Transport and local councils are able to appoint restricted investigators following guidelines issued by the Director General of the Department of Health.
The Department of Health enforcement officers will take an educational approach to support the changes over the first six months, to allow retailers to make the necessary adjustments.
From September 18, 2020, it will be illegal for children under the age of 18 to sell tobacco products in retail outlets.
These new provisions will do more to protect children from exposure to tobacco products.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"These latest legislative reforms form part of the McGowan Government's approach to improving public health, reducing smoking rates and encouraging Western Australians to adopt healthier lifestyles.
"In the last decade, Western Australia has made significant progress on reducing the terrible toll of death and disease caused by tobacco. However, we know that more can be done.
"The Department of Health will be advising industry of their obligations over the coming weeks.
"While those who openly flout the new laws may be prosecuted by Department of Health Tobacco Control Investigators, an educational approach is planned to support these regulatory changes over the first six months to allow retailers to make the necessary adjustments."
Minister's office - 6552 6500