Since 1 July 2007, smoking has been prohibited in all enclosed licensed premises. Smoking is also prohibited in an outdoor dining or drinking area (e.g. a balcony or courtyard) if the area has a roof in place and the total actual area of the wall surfaces exceeds 75% of the total notional wall area. Refer to Outdoor dining or drinking for further information.
- Q1: What is the law?
Since 1 July 2007 all enclosed licensed premises must be smoke-free.
- Q2: What does ‘enclosed’ mean?
The definition of enclosed has been amended to provide clarity and acknowledge the wide diversity of licensed venues. Enclosed will mean an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are:
- permanent or temporary;
- open or closed.
- Q3: What is the definition of a roof or wall?
A wall will include any structure or device (whether fixed or movable) that prevents or significantly impedes lateral airflow, including a window or door.
A roof will include any structure or device (whether fixed or movable) that prevents or significantly impedes upward airflow, including a ceiling.
- Q4: What if all of the doors and concertina windows at a venue are open, will the smoking status of the venue change to allow smoking?
No, the smoking status of an enclosed licensed premises will not change at any time. However, if the licensed premises has a balcony, veranda, courtyard, rooftop, or street or footpath area, then smoking may be permitted as these areas are regarded as outdoor dining or drinking areas and therefore treated differently.
- Q5: Will I be required to display No Smoking signs?
Yes. Acceptable No Smoking signs must be displayed in a manner that ensures a person is reasonably likely to see one or more of them on entering the premises. See the Resources page for further information on No Smoking signs.
- Q6: What will be the penalty for allowing smoking in an enclosed licensed premises?
Breach of Tobacco Laws Infringement Notice Maximum Penalties the in
Natural Person Body corporate Natural Person Body corporate Person smoking in an enclosed workplace
1 PU-5 PU
Person in charge of the enclosed licensed premises at the time the smoking occurs
2 PU-10 PU
Person in charge of the enclosed licensed premises where acceptable No Smoking signs are not displayed
2 PU5 PU10 PU
Note: PU = penalty unit/s
- Q7: What is the value of a penalty unit?
The value of a penalty unit is indexed annually. For the current value please see Legislation & Regulations.
- Q8: Are there any defences?
Yes. The person in charge of the enclosed licensed premises at the time the smoking occurs will not be guilty of an offence if he/she can prove that they did not provide an ashtray, matches, lighter or any other thing designed to facilitate smoking and that:
- they were not aware, and could not reasonably be expected to have been aware that smoking was occurring; or
- they requested the person to stop smoking and informed the person they were committing an offence.
Impact of the new law
- Q9: Will the smoking ban mean a loss of business?
A large number of studies have examined the effect of smoke-free policies in the hospitality industry. A review of 21 quality studies found no negative impact on businesses as a result of smoking bans, that is, the businesses did not lose money. Of the 21 quality studies, four reported a positive effect on sales. New Zealand and Ireland have similarly reported that licensed premises have not lost business as a result of smoking bans.
- Q10: Will less people attend licensed premises following the introduction of smoking bans in these venues?
A 2002 study found smoking bans in licensed premises would not affect patronage at these venues. The study found:
- 72 per cent of people said a ban would have no effect on their likelihood of going to a bar;
- 84 per cent said a ban would have no effect on their likelihood of going to a nightclub; and
- 10 per cent of those surveyed indicated that they would go to nightclubs more often and 20 per cent would go to bars more often.
- Q11: Will cigar bars be exempt from the law?
No. As an enclosed workplace/licensed premise, a cigar bar will be required to be smoke-free. As with other licensed premises, cigar bars will have a two-year lead time to implement the ban. In addition they may be able to allow smoking in an outdoor dining or drinking area. THe only exemption that will apply is high roller rooms in the Casino.
- Q12: Who will enforce the laws?
Environmental Health Officers employed by local councils.