The Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 bans smoking and using e-cigarettes in a commercial outdoor dining area, such as:

  • a seated dining area
  • within 4 metres of a seated dining area on licensed premises, restaurant or café
  • within 10 metres of a food fair stall.

Smoking is not permitted in an area in which the business provides food and seating in the outdoor area where the food is being eaten.

The smoke-free law also bans smoking or using pipes, waterpipe (also known as nargila, argileh, hubble bubble, hookah, shisha and goza) in an outdoor dining area.

The outdoor smoking bans fall under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 building on by-laws for smoke-free commercial outdoor dining areas as already adopted by many local councils.Smoking bans protect you and your family from the harms of second-hand smoke and vapour from e-cigarettes while dining in outdoor area of clubs, hotels, restaurants and cafés and at food fairs.

Penalties for non-compliance

Penalties for non-compliance may apply:

  • on the spot fines of $300 for individuals
  • a fine of up to $550 for a business owner who does not display 'no smoking' signs in an outdoor dining area
  • up to $5,500 for a business owner if a customer is found to be smoking in the outdoor dining area.

Designated outdoor smoking areas for non-compliance

Licensed premises and restaurants can have designated outdoor smoking areas. Owners of licensed premises and restaurants must to ensure that the designated smoking area:

  • is not located within 4 metres of the seated dining area on the premises
  • meet all other requirements of the smoke-free laws
  • must display appropriate signage.

Owners of licensed premises and restaurants must take reasonable steps to ensure that eating does not occur in the designated smoking area.

Smoke-free signage is needed to show where smoking is not allowed

Owners of licensed premises and restaurants must ensure that adequate no-smoking signage is displayed in an outdoor dining area. Licensed premises and businesses can order no smoking signs free of charge from NSW Health.

For more information

Learn more about smoke-free laws or report a breach of smoking bans or call the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412.

Non-English speaker?

Call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50.

Current as at: Thursday 22 June 2023
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health