Smoking and vaping

Smoking and vaping are regulated in the ACT, this includes the sale, purchase, and use of smoking products. Smoking products include:

  • tobacco products or tobacco containing products prepared for human consumption – cigarettes, cigar or shisha tobacco 
  • herbal products prepared for smoking that do not contain tobacco
  • a personal vaporiser or a personal vaporiser related product – electronic cigarettes also known as e-cigarettes, vapes, vape pens, e-hookas, bongs and waterpipes

In the ACT it is illegal to smoke or vape in certain public places under the Smoke-Free Public Places Act 2003.


In Australia, tobacco can be legally sold to adults as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and shisha tobacco.

It is illegal to sell heated tobacco products and tobacco not intended for smoking like chewing tobacco.


What is a vape?

Vapes are electronic devices that deliver an aerosol into the lungs. Vapes are sometimes called electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, personal vaporisers, e-cigars, e-pipes, vape pens, hookah pen, mods, electronic nicotine delivery systems also known as ENDS, puff bars, Juuls and e-hookahs.

Vapes is the most common term used in the community. 

Vapes can come in many different shapes and sizes and may look like everyday items such as a highlighter, pen, USB memory sticks or even lipstick.

The main parts in a vape are a lithium battery, heating coil and liquid container. The liquid is called e-liquid, e-juice, or vape juice and contains many chemicals, flavours and often nicotine – even if this is not stated on the packaging. 

Vapes are not safe. The biggest misunderstanding about vapes is that they are harmless compared to cigarettes. This is not true. 

Vapes are considered a smoking product under the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act

More information

Page last updated on: 21 Jul 2023