Smoking Laws NSW

From 6 July 2015 the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 makes it illegal to smoke in commercial outdoor dining areas. Commercial outdoor dining areas include:

  1. a seated dining area;
  2. within 4 metres of a seated dining area on licensed premises, restaurant or café; and
  3. within 10 metres of a food fair stall.

A seated dining area is an area in which seating is provided and in which food that has been purchased and served on plates or packaged for immediate consumption is consumed. The seating must have been provided by the occupier of the premises where the food is purchased or by the operator of the business from which the food is purchased.

These new laws are in addition to the previous restrictions imposed by the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 and from 6 July 2015 it is now illegal to smoke at any of the following:

  1. a place that is within 10 metres of children’s play equipment but only if the children’s play equipment is in an outdoor public place,
  2. a swimming pool complex,
  3. an area set aside for or being used by spectators to watch an organised sporting event at a sports ground or other recreational area, but only when an organised sporting event is being held there,
  4. the platform of a passenger railway or light rail station,
  5. a ferry wharf,
  6. a light rail stop
  7. a bus stop
  8. a taxi rank
  9. a place that is within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a building,
  10. a commercial outdoor dining area,
  11. a place at a public hospital, health institution or health service under the Health Services Act 1997 that is designated as a smoke-free area by a by-law or regulation under that Act and notified by signs displayed in, or at an entrance to, any such area,

If a person is found smoking in a designated smoke-free area they can be fined up to $550.

If a business is allowing people to smoke in an area where food is being served they can be fined up to $5,500.

It is a defence if the person proves that he or she did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, that the place in which the person was smoking was a smoke-free area.

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