Outdoor dining areas now smoke-free in NSW, heavy fines apply

Smoking is banned in NSW commercial outdoor dining areas and within four metres of pedestrian access to cafes, licensed premises and restaurants.

Screenshot of Smoke-free poster from NSW Health website

Under amendments to the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, smoking devices – including cigarettes, pipes and water pipes – are banned in seated outdoor dining areas while food is being served.

NSW Health inspectors have the power to issue on-the-spot fines of $300 for individuals and penalties of up to $5,500 for business owners who ignore the ban.

In a media release on Monday, NSW Health said it has worked with businesses to prepare them to support compliance.

“It is very pleasing that many businesses voluntarily banned smoking in their outdoor dining areas prior to today [July 6], with positive results,” NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner said.

“When people are aware of the law, they generally comply and – judging by the high levels of compliance with existing smoking bans (98%) – we expect high levels of compliance with smoke-free outdoor dining.”

Smoking has been banned in NSW outdoor public places since the start of 2013.

These include all public transport stops and stations, areas within 10m of children’s playgrounds, spectator areas of sporting grounds, public swimming pools, and at areas within 4m of a pedestrian entrance to or exit from a public building.

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