The Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 bans smoking in enclosed public places and certain outdoor public areas. These bans protect people from harmful second hand tobacco smoke - the smoke which smokers exhale after inhaling from a lit cigarette. There is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke.

The two main Acts and related regulations concerning smoke-free laws in NSW are identified below.

Smoke-free Environment Act 2000

The Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, Smoke-free Environment Amendment Regulation 2009, and the Smoke-free Environment Regulation 2007 ban and regulate smoking in enclosed public places.

The Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 also bans smoking in the following outdoor public places:

  • Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public places;
  • Public swimming pools;
  • Spectator areas at sports grounds or other recreational areas used for organised sporting events;
  • Public transport stops and platforms , including ferry wharves and taxi ranks;
  • Within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building.

The  Smoke-free Guide: No smoking within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a building provides information on which buildings are applicable.

From 6 July 2015, commercial outdoor dining areas will also be smoke-free.

Provision for smoking bans in these outdoor public areas have been have made because:

  • they are often visited by children and families and they can be crowded;
  • they allow limited opportunity for people to avoid second hand smoke;
  • this approach will achieve an important reduction in many people’s exposure to second hand smoke;
  • this approach will create a more supportive environment for those who have quit.

To support consistent application of the ban on smoking in commercial outdoor dining areas in licensed premises and restaurants, the ban on smoking within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a building will be delayed for these places until 6 July 2015.

Under this Act, Local Health Districts and Statutory Health Corporations can make by-laws banning smoking on NSW Health grounds, such as hospitals, community health services and ambulance stations.

Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008

The Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008 aims to reduce the incidence of smoking and other consumption of tobacco products and non-tobacco smoking products, particularly by young people. The Public Health (Tobacco) Regulation 2009 supports the Act.

 Smoking in cars with a child under the age of 16 years in the vehicle is an offence under this Act.

Page Updated: Monday 17 August 2015