Section 6A of the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 makes a number of outdoor public places smoke-free. Smoking is banned within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public places in NSW.

The Act applies to children’s play equipment in local parks and reserves as well as play equipment at fast food outlets, eateries, sporting venues and licensed premises.

The Act does not apply to:

  • playground equipment that is in a private backyard or facility; or
  • the rest of the park or reserve in which a playground is situated (unless the council has instituted such a ban under the Local Government Act 1993).

The smoke-free laws also apply to the use of e-cigarettes (vaping).

Last updated: 17 March 2023

Will there be signage to indicate where smoking is not permitted?

Because of the variety of configurations of public playgrounds, the law does not require signs to be displayed to indicate that smoking is not permitted within 10 metres of the playground equipment. However, ‘No Smoking’ or ‘Smoking Prohibited’
signs may be erected to indicate that smoking is not permitted within 10 metres of the playground equipment. Appropriate signage will be made available by NSW Health for this purpose.

How will this be enforced?

NSW Health is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000. NSW Health Inspectors are authorised to enforce the ban near children’s playground equipment in outdoor public areas. Penalties of up to $550 apply for anyone who fails to comply with the law.

Why is this new law in place?

Public parks and playgrounds often attract large numbers of people, particularly families with children. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. This is the smoke which smokers exhale after inhaling from a lit cigarette. In adults, breathing second-hand tobacco smoke can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and other lung diseases. It can exacerbate the effects of other illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis. Exposing ex-smokers to other people’s tobacco smoke increases the chance of relapsing to smoking.
For children, inhaling second-hand tobacco smoke is even more dangerous. This is because children’s airways are smaller, and their immune systems are less developed, which makes them more likely to suffer negative health consequences of second-hand tobacco smoke such as bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma. Creating smoke-free outdoor areas such as playgrounds can provide a supportive environment for those who have quit and make smoking less visible to children and young people.


How does this affect Local Council bans on smoking?

 Many NSW councils, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993, have progressively introduced their own smoking bans. Where these bans are in place, they can continue to be enforced by Local Council rangers .

For more information

Please contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412. Non-English speaking people can access the Tobacco Information Line via the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50.


Current as at: Friday 17 March 2023
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health