Section 6A of the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 makes a number of outdoor public places smoke-free. From 7 January 2013, smoking is banned in open areas within the perimeter of all public swimming pool complexes in NSW. The Act does not apply to swimming pools on people’s private property.​


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?

Yes. Occupiers of public swimming pool complexes must ensure that adequate signage is erected and maintained to indicate that smoking is not permitted within the perimeter of the swimming pool complex. Appropriate signage will be made available by NSW Health for this purpose.

How will the law 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 in open areas of public swimming pool complexes. Penalties of up to $550 apply for anyone who fails to comply with the law.

Why is this new law in place?

Public swimming pools 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 public swimming pools, 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 or visit the NSW Health website:

The Tobacco Information Line can be accessed by non-English speaking people 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