South Australia to consider total smoking ban for youngsters born after 2009

19 June 2024

By Jessica Wang and Duncan Evans,

One state will consider a radical plan to end smoking forever in a massive bid to stop young people from getting addicted to nicotine.

South Australians born after 2009 could be banned from smoking and purchasing tobacco-related products under a bold law proposed by an independent politician.

Modelled after similar laws in the UK, the proposed Bill would immediately raise the legal age for buying tobacco and smoking-related products, like nicotine pouches, from 18 to 19, and incrementally increase the legal age limit each year.

The legislation would also outlaw selling cigarettes from vending machines.

Anyone found guilty of selling cigarettes to a person under the age of 19 years would face a maximum penalty of $20,000 for the first offence and $40,000 for the second offence.

The Bill will be introduced into the South Australian parliament on Wednesday by independent MP Frank Pangallo, who pointed towards laws in the UK, which has just banned people aged 15 and under from ever buying cigarettes.

Mr Pangallo said the laws would eventually make smoking a “relic” in the state.

“It has one purpose – to radically reduce the harms that smoking tobacco and other smoking products have been proven to cause,” he said.

“It gives us the opportunity to arrest the enormous and burgeoning cost that smoking imposes on our health, social, economic and financial wellbeing and our overall quality of life and productivity in South Australia.”

South Australian Health Minister Chris Picton said the government would “consider” Mr Pangallo’s legislation however also said the state needed to reduce vaping rates in young people.

“Smoking is our biggest preventable killer and cause of disease, so anything we can do to reduce its impact we should consider,” he said.

“Critical to ensuring that we stop young people taking up smoking is banning single-use vapes which are seeing many young people becoming addicted to nicotine.”