For free and confidential legal advice about vaping, contact us here

Vapes are used to smoke, and they are sometimes called e-cigarettes. They can come with or without nicotine. It is against the law to have a vape that has nicotine without a prescription in South Australia. 

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Is buying vapes legal in South Australia?

In South Australia, it is illegal to buy (or have) a vape with nicotine without a prescription from a doctor. People who are 18 or over can buy vapes that don’t contain nicotine. 

If you are under 18, it is illegal for someone to sell you any kind of e-cigarette (it doesn’t matter if it contains nicotine, or not). It is also illegal for someone else to buy a vape for you.

Where can I vape?


In South Australia, it is against the law to vape in an enclosed place (other than someone’s private house). A place is enclosed if it has a roof, and is mostly surrounded by walls (even if there are doors or open passageways). 

Some examples of places that are usually enclosed public 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.

You also can’t vape in some outdoor areas, like: 

  • Public transport areas, such as on a train platform; and 
  • Near children’s playgrounds.

You can be given a penalty if you are caught vaping in any of these places.

Can I vape in a car?


It is illegal to smoke in a car if there is someone younger than 18 years old in the car. Smoking includes vapes as well as cigarettes. Police can give you a fine if you are caught.

Can police confiscate a vape?


If you are under 18 and have a vape, the police can take it from you. You will probably be asked for ID first. Anything confiscated from you will probably not be returned. 

What can happen if I vape at school?


Private and public schools will generally have rules about vaping at school. If you want to know what your school rules say, you can ask someone at your school (such as a teacher or principal) for a copy of your school rules, or have a look on your school’s website. 

If you break school rules, for example by vaping, taking vapes to school or giving vapes to another student, then the school can take disciplinary action.   

If you are in trouble for having or using a vape at school, you can contact us for advice here. You can also check out our pages on suspensions and expulsions. 

More information about vaping

If you are thinking of vaping, it’s really important to find out about the health risks so you can make an informed choice. You can find out more from SA Health here. 

If you are feeling pressured to vape, or if there is anything else that is troubling you, you can contact the Kids Helpline for 24/7 free and confidential support. Their number is 1800 55 1800 and their website is here. 

If you want help to stop vaping, or if you have questions about vaping, you can talk to your doctor, a youth health service, or you can call the South Australia Quitline on 13 78 48. 

If you want legal help with a vaping problem, and you are under 25, you can contact us for free and confidential help here. 

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