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Smoke free laws

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 two main Acts and related regulations concerning smoke-free laws in NSW are:

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. NSW Health provides guidance on what  a ‘smoke-free enclosed public place’ is. Smoking is currently banned in these 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 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
  • Commercial outdoor dining areas (effective 6 July 2015).

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

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. 

Smoke-free commercial outdoor dining areas

From 6 July 2015, commercial outdoor dining areas in NSW will be smoke-free and the following applies:

  • Mandatory prescribed 'no smoking' signage must be displayed
  • Smoking will be a banned within 4 metres of a pedestrian entry or exit from a hospitality venue (the ‘4 metre law’)
  • The bans apply to any ignited smoking product including cigarettes, pipes and water-pipes.


$300 for individuals
up to $5,500 for a business owner.

Smoke-free signage and resources

Refer to the NSW Health website to order free signage, posters, flyers, and fact sheets. Use the link below to order supplies.

How will the laws be enforced?

NSW Health - Inspectors enforce bans on smoking under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000.

Council - Rangers enforce bans under the Local Government Act 1993 in accordance with our  Smoke-Free-Outdoor-Areas-Policy-adopted-2012-02-15.pdf82KB pdf(PDF, 82KB)


If you think an outdoor smoking ban has been broken, report it to NSW Health. Use the link in 'Related information' to make a complaint on-line or call the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412 or the Port Macquarie Public Health Unit on 6588 2750 during business hours or 0428 882 805 after hours.

This page was last updated on: 30 July 2019