Tobacco Control Key Facts and Figures

Tobacco control timeline

Page last updated: 04 October 2017

Australia’s low smoking rate is the result of concerted, sustained, and comprehensive public policy efforts from all levels of government and action from public health organisations.

  • 1973 - health warnings first mandated on all cigarette packs in Australia.
  • 1976 - bans on all cigarette advertising on radio and television in Australia.
  • 1986 to 2006 - phased in bans on smoking in workplaces and public places.
  • 1990 - bans on advertising of tobacco products in newspapers and magazines published in Australia.
  • 1992 - increase in the tobacco excise.
  • 1993 - Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 prohibited broadcasting and publication of tobacco advertisements.
  • from 1994 to 2003 - bans on smoking in restaurants.
  • 1995 - nationally consistent text-only health warnings required.
  • 1998 to 2006 - bans on point-of-sale tobacco advertising across Australia.
  • 2006 - graphic health warnings required on packaging of most tobacco products.
  • 2010 - 25% increase in the tobacco excise.
  • 2011 - first complete state or territory ban on point-of-sale tobacco product displays.
  • 2012 - offence for any person to publish tobacco advertising on the internet or other electronic media.
  • 2012 - introduction of tobacco plain packaging, and updated and expanded graphic health warnings.
  • 2012 - reduction in the duty free allowance from 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars or tobacco products to 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products from 1 September 2012.
  • 2013 - first 12.5% tobacco excise increase on 1 December.
  • 2014 - change from bi-annual indexation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to
    bi-annual indexation based on average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE).
  • 2014 - 12.5% excise increase on 1 September.
  • 2015 - 12.5% excise increase on 1 September.
  • 2016 - release of the Post Implementation Review of Tobacco Plain Packaging.
  • 2016 - 12.5% excise increase will be implemented on 1 September.
  • 2017 - additional four annual 12.5% tobacco excise increases implemented on 1 September each year from 2017 to 2020 inclusive.
  • 2017 - reduction in duty free tobacco allowance, 25 grams of duty free tobacco (cigarette, loose leaf etc), plus one open packet; equivalent to approximately 25 cigarettes.
  • 2017 - harmonisation of the taxation of roll-your-own tobacco and other products such as cigars, with manufactured cigarettes.