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Smoke Drift and Vaping Defined

Smoking in strata and the regulation of this activity within a community title scheme has been written about extensively for a number of years. In this article we will summarise the takeaway points from those prior publications and delve into the growing trend of vaping, including the legislative definitions.

We will provide clarity on whether or not vaping and similar ways of creating smoke drift from one’s mouth that affects other residents in a strata property is treated the same as traditional cigarette smoke.

First, let’s recap what has already been said about the legalities and enforcement options of cigarette smoke drift in strata. The Main takeaway points are:

1. Nothing in strata legislation prohibits smoking within the boundaries of an owner’s or residents lot
2. Bodies corporate should check the plans of the scheme to determine if the balcony or courtyard of an apartment forms part of the lot
3. No ruling from an Adjudicator has supported the restriction of smoking within a lot by a body corporate
4. Bodies corporate should however make all efforts to inform owners and residents when their smoking is affecting others
5. Bodies corporate can regulate smoking on the common property with an appropriate by-law.

Some of the most read articles already published with further details on these points can be accessed here:


Now how does vaping apply to all of this I hear you ask? The legislation that applies to vaping which is classified as an electronic cigarette is the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (Tobacco Act). Information specific to electronics cigarettes also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, vape pens or personal vaporizers has been published by the Queensland Government here:

The main takeaway point relative to strata is that electronic cigarettes of any kind which includes vaporisers cannot be used in existing no-smoking indoor and outdoor places.

All other provisions that apply to cigarettes are the same which includes that electronic cigarettes cannot be:

1. Sold to children under 18 years of age
2. Advertised, promoted or displayed at retail outlets
3. Provided for sale in a vending machine

In summary, electronic cigarettes are smoking products and subject to the same laws in place for tobacco cigarettes.

This article was contributed by Grant Mifsud, Partner – Archers the Strata Professionals.

Leave a Reply

  1. Carmel DOOLAN

    Thank you for this information, and please keep up the pressure to eventually get smoking banned completely in strata units. The drift from just one smoker on a regular basis ultimately affects every resident, and not necessarily just those living immediately adjacent to the recalcitrant smoker.

    With commitment and determination, it can be done. A Melbourne City Councillor has recently been successful in having smoking in one of the large Melbourne Malls banned. Good on Beverley Pinder!!

    As I often say, if smokers want to inflict an early death, as well as years of ill-health on themselves, then that is their decision, but they have absolutely no rights to inflict the same consequences on their neighbours.

  2. Shannon

    Agreed. Smoking in the unit below me always enters every part of my unit, as the overhang on my balcony is deeper than that of theirs. It’s awful having smoke drift even into the back of my apartment every time the occupant below me smokes.

  3. vapeclub

    The individual agrees with a shared sentiment, highlighting the issue of smoke infiltration from the unit below. They explain that the design of their balcony, specifically the deeper overhang, exacerbates the problem. This architectural difference allows smoke from the lower unit to easily permeate every part of their living space. The frustration is palpable as the person describes the unpleasant experience of having smoke infiltrate even the rear areas of their apartment whenever the occupant in the unit below engages in smoking. The overall tone conveys the distress caused by the persistent and intrusive nature of the smoke issue.