Smoking and using e-cigarettes are banned in all enclosed public areas and certain outdoor public areas, under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000and the Smoke-free Environment Regulation 2016. These bans protect people from harmful second-hand tobacco smoke. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Enclosed public areas

Smoking and using e-cigarettes are banned in all enclosed public areas including in shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, trains and buses.

Outdoor public areas

Smoking and using e-cigarettes are banned in the following outdoor public areas:

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

Smoking and using e-cigarettes on public transport vehicles suchas trains, buses, light rail, ferries is also banned under the Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017.


Why are the laws in place?

The ban on smoking and using e-cigarettes in 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 or vapour from e-cigarettes
  • 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.

Display of ‘No Smoking’ signs

Owners and occupiers of the following outdoor public places must ensure that adequate ‘No Smoking’ signs are displayed in:

  • swimming pool complexes (indoor and outdoor areas)
  • light rail platforms, railway platforms and ferry wharves
  • commercial outdoor dining areas. See the Hospitality guide for further information.
NSW Health smoke-free signage stays the same as ‘No Smoking’ covers both smoking tobacco and using e-cigarettes.
Signs which comply with the requirements under the regulation are available to order free of charge from NSW Health. Otherwise, owners and occupiers can make their own signs which comply with the regulation.

Enforcement of smoking bans

NSW Health inspectors conduct regular compliance monitoring and enforcement activity. They can issue cautions or on the spot fines of $300 to people who break the smoking bans.

Inspectors can also provide education to the public on smoking bans, and work with property and building owners to display smoke-free signage and remove butt bins, where appropriate.

If you think a smoking ban has been broken, please let us know by completing the online reporting form.

Smoking and using an e-cigarette in cars with children

It is an offence to smoke or use an e-cigarette in a car with children under age of 16 years in the vehicle. NSW Police enforce these bans.

Further information is available from these fact sheets:



Current as at: Tuesday 8 December 2020
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health