It is against the law for anyone to sell cigarettes to you if you are under 18. This can include herbs and other things that are smoked, even if they do not contain tobacco. Anyone who sells or gives cigarettes to someone under 18 can be heavily fined.

Do I have to show ID?

The shop keeper can ask you for ID if they think you might be under 18. Valid ID includes

  • a current drivers license or

  • a valid proof of age card (including NSW Photo cards) or

  • a current passport.

If you refuse, lie, or use fake ID, you are breaking the law. You can be fined for doing so, and the police may confiscate the ID. For more information see our Fake ID page.

Can anyone confiscate my cigarettes if I am under 18?

Police and school teachers can confiscate cigarettes from you if you are under 18. The person who takes them is not allowed to return them to you.

Where can I smoke?

Indoor places

It is against the law to smoke in enclosed public places in South Australia. Enclosed public places are places that are open to the public, have a roof, and are mostly surrounded by walls (even if there are doors or open passageways). This includes places you have to pay to enter (like a theatre).

Some examples of these places are

  • Shopping centres

  • Restaurants, cafes and dining areas

  • Pubs, clubs and bars (except designated smoking areas)

  • Schools, colleges and universities

  • Community centres, halls and churches

  • Theatres, libraries and galleries

  • Public transport (buses, trains, trams, aeroplanes, taxis, ferries)

  • Gyms and sporting facilities

  • Hospitals.

If you are caught smoking in one of these places, you can

  • be given an informal caution or

  • fined $75 on the spot by police (if you are 16 or older) or

  • choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you $200 if you are convicted).

Can I smoke when wearing my school uniform?

Some schools have rules about how you can behave when wearing school uniform. If your school has these kinds of rules, you may get in trouble for smoking in school uniform. For more information, ask your school for information about its uniform and smoking policies.

Can I smoke in a car?

You cannot smoke in a car if there is someone younger than 16 in the car. The possible fines are the same as for smoking in public places, above.

Additional information

If you would like more information, you may like to visit

  • South Australia Health

  • Reach Out

Alternatively, if you would like more detailed advice or have a specific problem, you can send us a Lawmail.

This page was last updated 11 November 2014.

Smoking – the financial cost

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After one day of not smoking, you’ve got an extra $21 in your pocket. You could treat yourself to a cafe lunch or buy a couple of your favourite magazines.

The health benefits of not smoking for one day include

  • Most of the nicotine is cleared from your body.
  • Your heart rate slows to a normal rate and your blood pressure is more stable.
  • Your finger tips are warmer.

After two days of not smoking
After two days of not smoking, you’ve saved $42. You could go to the movies, go to the footy or cricket, or treat yourself to a lunch.

The health benefits of not smoking for two days include

  • You notice that your skin, hair and breath smell fresher.
  • Less carbon monoxide in your system means your lungs are more efficient.

After one week of not smoking
After one week of not smoking, you’ve got an extra $147 in your pocket. You could have a facial, take someone to dinner, go to a gig, or buy a few books.

The health benefits of not smoking for one week include

  • The small hair like structures that clean your lungs, called cilia, are starting to work better. (Some people may cough up some phlegm for a few weeks.)
  • You have higher blood levels of protective antioxidants, such as vitamin C.
  • Your sense of smell and taste may improve.

After one month of not smoking
After one month of not smoking, you’ve saved $640. You could go away for a weekend, cover your monthly petrol costs, or treat yourself to some new clothes.

The health benefits of not smoking for one month include

  • Your lungs are working more efficiently.
  • Exercising is easier.
  • Your immune system is starting to recover.

After three to six months of not smoking
After three months of not smoking, you’ve saved over $1,900. This is enough for a new computer or a plasma TV. After six months, you’ve got over $3,800 to spend. You could take your family for a holiday in Queensland or buy a return ticket to London or the United States.

The health benefits of not smoking for three to six months include

  • You’re likely to cough and wheeze less, and cough up less phlegm.
  • Blood flow to your extremities, like fingers and toes, improves.
  • Your body is better at healing cuts and wounds.
  • You may feel less stressed or in a better mood than when you were smoking.

After one year
After one year of not smoking, you’ve saved almost $7,700. This is enough for an around the world plane ticket, some new furniture, or a lump sum off your mortgage.

The health benefits of not smoking for one year are that your lungs have continued to improve. Your small airways are healthier and your lung function is better than if you had kept smoking.

Other cost saving benefits of quitting
If you quit smoking, you’ll save money in many other ways, including

  • You’re less likely to suffer from colds, the flu or other respiratory infections, which means fewer trips to the doctor, less money spent on medications and fewer sick days.
  • You won’t need so many visits to the dentist to have your teeth professionally cleaned.
  • You don’t have to spend as much time and money on maintaining the house. For example, smoking inside your home discolours paint and wallpaper.
  • You cut down on your cleaning bills because clothes, furniture upholstery and the interior of your car no longer smell of cigarette smoke.
  • The risk of fire in your home is lower.

Future benefits of not smoking
The health and financial benefits of quitting continue as the years go by and include

  • Your chances of conceiving a baby improve. Smoking can cause fertility problems, such as impotence in men and a lower chance of conceiving in women. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a miscarriage.
  • Over time, your sense of smell will continue to slowly improve.
  • Within two to five years, your risk of heart attack and stroke is substantially reduced. You’ve also saved between $15,000 and $38,000.
  • After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline (provided the disease is not already present). You’ve also saved almost $77,000.
  • After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke is nearly the same as a lifetime non smoker. You’ve also saved $115,000.
  • Quitting smoking benefits men and women of all ages and improves health in general. Remember that the rate and extent of recovery can vary from person to person.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Your pharmacist
  • Quitline Tel. 13 7848

Things to remember

  • If you need added incentive to quit, think about how much of your weekly income is going up in smoke every week.
  • At today’s prices, if you smoke one pack of cigarettes per day for 10 years, you’ll spend almost $77,000 easily enough to buy a new car.