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List of smoking bans in Australia

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List of smoking bans in Australia

No smoking sign

The following is a list of smoking bans in Australia.

The list shows federal, state and local laws. For other smoking bans and restrictions, see the worldwide list of smoking bans.

Federal level

Federal law bans smoking in all Australian Commonwealth government buildings, public transport, airports and international and domestic flights. Further bans are in place but are governed by individual states. Currently all Australian states and territories have banned smoking in vehicles with children, in some enclosed public places, particularly most major company owned workplaces and most enclosed restaurants. Tobacco products cannot be sold to persons under 18 years old but there is no legal age to use them.

Smoking population

In 2013, around 13.3% of people aged 18 and older in Australia were daily smokers.[1] By state/territory, the Australian Capital Territory had the lowest percentage of daily smokers in the country at 9.9%, and the Northern Territory the highest at around 22.2% then Tasmania at 21% followed by Queensland at 20%.[1] Smoking rates can be significantly higher in some areas and lower in others. Some areas of Sydney have smoking rates as low as 6% and areas in Victoria have smoking rates of 29% and some areas in the Northern Territory have smoking rates of 56%.

Australian states and territories

Australian Capital Territory

On 6 December 1995, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government was the first jurisdictional government in Australia to introduce no smoking in cafes and restaurants.[2] Since 1 December 2006 a smoking ban has applied to all enclosed public places.[3]

The ACT Government introduced laws to prohibit smoking in most outdoor eating areas in the territory starting December 2010.[4] Exceptions to this rule can be made but only under certain guidelines. A "Designated Outdoor Smoking Area" (DOSA) requirements include; may not encompass more than 50% of the outdoor area, must be separated from smoke-free areas by no less than 4 metres or a non-transparent fixed wall barrier at least 3 metres high.

There is a government proposal to ban smoking within correctional facilities.[5]

New South Wales

The New South Wales Government introduced a ban on smoking in enclosed public areas in the State, except for bars and in licensed premises, on 6 September 2001.[6] The Government introduced a total "enclosed space" ban in New South Wales on 1 July 2007. In this state, a public place is considered substantially enclosed only if the total area of ceiling and wall surfaces are more than 75% of its total notional ceiling and wall area. Windows and doors may be counted as open space only if they are locked open to the outside for the duration of trading hours. 10% of the total ceiling and wall area must remain open to the elements at all times.[7]

Since 1 July 2009, smoking in a car with a child under the age of 16 is against the law. The Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008 creates a new offence of smoking in a car with a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle. A $250 on-the-spot fine applies to the driver and any passenger who breaks the law. This is enforced by NSW Police.[8] However licence premises may set aside a outdoor smoking area for drinking only and must be 4 metres away from restaurant tables and no more than 75% enclosed.

Since 7 January 2013, smoking is banned at public (outdoor) playgrounds within 10 m of children's play equipment, in open areas of public swimming pools, at major sports grounds, within 4 m of any building open to the public and at public transport stops (including outdoor parts of railway stations, bus stops, light rail stops and taxi ranks). Bans on smoking within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building will include seated areas restaurants and cafés since 6 July 2015.[9]

The New South Wales Government banned smoking at correctional facilities within the state from 10 August 2015.[10][11][12][13]

Northern Territory

A ban on smoking in all enclosed areas of restaurants, licensed clubs and pubs came into force in the Northern Territory on 2 January 2010. Licensed venues can have designated areas which lets them have up to 50% of the restaurant or bar to be a smoking area. In the Northern Territory it is common for bars in rural areas to disobey the smoking bans that the government has put into place although fines can be issued ranging from $1000 to $8000. The Northern Territory Government became the first jurisdiction to ban smoking in correctional facilities when it introduced a total ban on cigarettes in the institutions on 1 July 2013.[14][15]


The Queensland Government prohibits smoking in all pubs, clubs, restaurants and workplaces in Queensland, as well as in commercial outdoor eating and drinking areas and in outdoor public places (e.g., patrolled beaches, children's playground equipment, major sport stadiums, and within 4 metres of non-residential building entrances). Since 1 July 2006, premises holding a hotel, club or casino liquor licence can designate up to 50% of the outdoor liquor licensed area as a smoking and drinking area. In this area no food or drink can be served, no food can be consumed, no entertainment can be offered and there must be no gaming machines provided. A "buffer", which can be either a 2-metre-wide area or a 2.1-metre-high screen that is impervious to smoke, must be on the area's perimeter wherever it is adjacent to other parts of the outdoor area usually accessed by patrons. Premises that choose to have such an area must have a smoking management plan for the premises that complies with legislative requirements. For all other outdoor eating or drinking places, smoking has been prohibited since 1 July 2006. From 1 January 2010, the Queensland Government banned smoking in cars where children under the age of 16 are present.[16] In May 2014, the Queensland Government became the first state government to ban tobacco in correctional facilities.[17][18]

South Australia

A total enclosed public place smoking ban was introduced in South Australia on 1 November 2007. However, under the SA Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997, a place or area is only "enclosed" if it is fully enclosed or is at least partially covered by a ceiling and has walls such that the total area of the ceiling and wall surfaces exceeds 70 per cent of the total notional ceiling and wall area. It is illegal to smoke in the car while children (under 18) are in the car.[19] Correctional facilities in South Australia have banned smoking since January 1, 2015. The South Australian government has anouced that smoking will be banned in outdoor eating areas and restaurants by July 2016 (second last state to do so).


Tasmania was the first Australian state to introduce a total indoor smoking ban in January 2006.[20] As of 1 January 2008, smoking in cars with passengers under the age of 18 is banned and will incur a $110 on the spot fine.[21] (The laws would be strictly enforced only after a three-month education period.[21]). Smoking has been banned in all outdoor restaurants since 2012, however, outdoor areas of licensed premises are exempted from the ban. Tasmanian Correctional facilities have banned smoking since January 1, 2015.


1973 and 2007 ABC news reports on the initial, and then the complete, indoor smoking bans in Victoria

The Victorian Government introduced a total enclosed public place smoking ban in Victoria on 1 July 2007.[22][23] Smoking is permitted in non-enclosed dining or drinking areas if the area has a roof and walls that cover no more than 75% of the total notional wall area (i.e. if the combined wall and roof space is 25% open to the outdoors). Smoking is also allowed in: balconies; verandas; smoking rooms in motels; private business; courtyards; outdoor shopping malls; marquees; and footpaths. Smoking is permitted in high roller rooms and certain smoking rooms of the Crown Casino. The sale of tobacco products to people under 18 is prohibited[24] but there is no age limit to legally possess these products. A ban on smoking in cars carrying children (aged under 18) became effective since 1 January 2010. A ban on smoking within 4 metres school entrances became effective in May 2015. Smoking is prohibited on all areas of train stations and raised platform tram stops as of 1 March 2014.[25] Victorian Correctional facilities have banned smoking since July 1, 2015. In August 2015, the Victorian Government announced a ban on smoking in outdoor restaurants to start in August 2017.[26] In 2017, Victoria will be the last of the Australian states to impose such a ban.[27] As at October 2015, no decision had been made on banning smoking in outdoor bars as details of the smoking ban have not yet be covered and won't be until 2016.

Western Australia

Western Australia was the second Australian state to ban smoking in all indoor areas of pubs, bars and clubs since 31 July 2006.[28] Smoking bans apply in outdoor eating areas, where people eat and/or drink sitting at tables (e.g. restaurants, cafes, delis, lunch-bars and hotels). Smoking is banned within 10 meters of any children’s playground equipment. Smoking is prohibited “between the flags” on a beach in patrolled swimming areas. It is also illegal to smoke in a car if a child (aged under 17) is inside. Liquor licensed premises that are not subject to a restaurant licence may set aside up to 50 per cent of outdoor eating areas as smoking zones. Smoking is permitted in the international room and pearl room at the Burswood Casino. The Health Minister has regulated to allow footpath drinking without food to accommodate smokers.[29]

There is a government proposal to ban smoking within Correctional facilities.

Norfolk Island

Smoking is banned in all government buildings, tour buses, taxis and flights to and from the island. There is no law on smoking in restaurants but many are smokefree, however, they often have a dedicated smoking room for people that wish to smoke. Smoking is permitted in all bars and licensed premises. Resorts and motels have smoking rooms and areas for smokers.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "NSW Health: Smoke-free guide: Determining an enclosed public place"
  8. ^
  9. ^ New outdoor smoking laws take effect in NSW
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Smoke-Free Cars"
  20. ^ "A Guide to Smoke-Free Areas in Tasmania"
  21. ^ a b "Smoking banned in cars in Tasmania" in The Australian
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Tobacco retailer guide", revised February 2013, Department of Health (Victoria), p. 12
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^

External links

  • Federal, state and territories legislation, University of Sydney
  • National Drug Strategy – Household Survey – detailed report 2013, Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • , Special Local Government EditionOURhotel (Official publication of the Australian Hotels Association), p. 5–7
  • (May 2001)Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Australia, prepared by VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control. Canberra: Dept. of Health and Ageing. ISBN 0-642-50393-1
  • Australian Hotels Association website
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