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Tobacco retailing

To reduce the number of people taking up smoking, Victorian laws limit the size and number of tobacco displays in public places and prohibit tobacco advertising in retail outlets. 

A silver cigarette butt bin on the side of a public waste bin

We carry out regular compliance checks to ensure businesses selling tobacco are meeting their responsibilities.


Buzz marketing and non-branded tobacco advertising are prohibited.

Buzz marketing is the use of colours, images and props to create an environment consistent with a brand's identity. Non-branded tobacco advertising includes backlit posters directly above cigarette displays, depicting images of smoking paraphernalia such as matches or lighters.

Sale to minors

The sale of tobacco to people under 18 years of age is illegal in Victoria.

To minimise tobacco sales to minors, we operate a program where young people under 18 years of age are employed to carry out 'test purchasing' at tobacco outlets across the municipality. Each young person is educated about Victoria’s tobacco laws and instructed to follow procedures developed by the Victorian Department of Health.

If you sell tobacco to a person under 18, we will conduct an educational visit to ensure you understand your legal obligations. Further tobacco sales to people under 18 could lead to fines or prosecution.

Black market tobacco

The sale of black market tobacco is illegal in Victoria.

Black market tobacco includes unrefined, shredded tobacco leaves or ‘chop chop’, unpacked tobacco, unpacked individual cigarettes and incorrectly labelled cigarettes that do not have a health warning.

Report a smoking, vaping or retailer issue

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For more information on tobacco reforms, visit the Department of Health.Opens in new tab

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our acknowledgement

  • Torres Strait Islander Flag
  • Aboriginal People Flag

The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. 


We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.