As a retailer selling smoking related products, it pays to be aware of and adhere to the relevant laws and rules around their purchase, sale, advertising and promotion. Keeping up-to-date on the latest information can help you avoid hefty fines.
No matter what type of business you have, you must adhere to the proper marketing practices and display the correct signage when selling smoking related products. Read these rules carefully to ensure you are following what is required under State law.
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 one 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).
The free mandatory signs are available for order by calling 13 7468. Download the Tobacco retailing information booklet.
Pipes and bongs
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.
As a retailer you are responsible for the appropriate sale of smoking related products. Both the employee and the retailer are liable for any breach of the laws regardless of who breaches it. Therefore, it is important to train staff appropriately.
Staff training requirements
A retailer must train their employees about the sale of smoking products, either over-the-counter or from accessing a tobacco vending machine. Training is required by law.
The employee training must:
- instruct staff not to sell smoking products to children, and to sight acceptable evidence of age for a person before selling a smoking product to them
- instruct staff that selling smoking products to a child is a breach of the tobacco laws. Penalties apply
- instruct staff to take reasonable steps to ensure that a child does not obtain a tobacco product from a vending machine.
Written acknowledgement from staff
Written acknowledgement must be provided from each employee that they have received the instructions and warning relating to the sales of smoking related products.
The Employee information and training acknowledgement form must be used to show written evidence of this training. This form can also be requested by calling 13 7468.
Employee information and training acknowledgement form
Staff training information about selling smoking products over-the-counter or from vending machines, according to Queensland’s tobacco laws
Requirements for retailers: Smoking products in Queensland
Explanations and definitions for retailers about the laws for selling smoking products in Queensland
Electronic cigarettes – fact sheet for retailers
Retailer information about the changes to the tobacco laws from 1 January 2015, regarding the sale of electronic cigarettes in Queensland