Department of Health

Key messages

  • Smoking and the use of e-cigarettes (vaping) is not permitted in any enclosed area of a workplace, including shopping centres, restaurants, and licensed premises.
  • 'Enclosed' means an area, room or premises that is substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are permanent, temporary, open, or closed.
  • Everyone in a workplace must observe the smoking and vaping ban, including employers, employees, volunteers, and customers.

Studies have found that restrictions on smoking in enclosed areas not only protects workers from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke but results in reduced smoking prevalence and consumption.

'No smoking' signage and resources

The occupier of a retail shopping centre, a bingo area or centre, a casino or an enclosed restaurant or café must display acceptable ‘No smoking’ signs.

Other employers are not required by law to display 'No smoking' signs. However, it is recommended that such signs are displayed to ensure that employees and visitors are aware of where smoking bans apply.

'No smoking' signs are available to order free of charge through the online order form on the Resources and factsheets page. PDF versions of the ‘No smoking or vaping’ signs can also be downloaded from this page. The Tobacco Act 1987 currently only requires ‘No smoking’ signage, so the use of ‘No smoking or vaping’ signage is voluntary.

Workplaces can implement their own smoke-free and vape-free policies to further support the statewide ban. If a workplace has a smoke-free and vape-free policy, both the workplace’s policy and the statewide ban will apply. Enforcement of the workplace policy would be the responsibility of the owner or Manager to enforce. Quit Victoria have resources available to support workplaces in going smoke-free, including a guide, available via the Quit websiteExternal Link .

  • Under the Tobacco Act 1987 smoking and vaping is prohibited in all enclosed workplaces where one or more employees or self-employed persons work. This includes both paid employees and volunteers.

    Everyone who works or visits a workplace is required to abide by the smoking and vaping ban in enclosed workplaces, including:

    • employers
    • employees
    • voluntary workers
    • customers.
  • Workplaces exempt from the law include:

    • residential premises not used for carrying on a business
    • a part of a residential premises used for carrying on a business while only persons who reside at the premises are in that part (that is no non-resident employees or members of the public are present)
    • a place of business occupied by the sole operator and that is not for the use of the public
    • outdoor drinking areas
    • a vehicle
    • personal sleeping or living areas of a premises providing accommodation to members of the public for a fee (such as a hotel), or residential care facilities including types of residential care services, supported residential services and aged care services
    • an area in a designated mental health service, within the meaning of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 declared by the Secretary
    • a detention centre established for the purposes of the Migration Act 1958 (Cwlth).
  • The smoking and vaping ban in enclosed workplaces does not apply to outdoor areas (areas not part of the enclosed workplace).

    However, many workplaces have smoke-free and vape-free policies, which go further than the Tobacco Act 1987 and restrict smoking and vaping in outdoor areas of the workplace. Employees should make themselves familiar with any workplace smoke-free and vape-free policy.

    For a list of areas where smoking and vaping is banned visit the smoke-free and vape-free areas page.

  • An enclosed workplace is required to be smoke-free and vape-free, regardless of whether the roof or walls are permanent, temporary, open or closed.

  • Smoking and vaping is not permitted in any enclosed area of a workplace. Therefore, in most cases smoking and vaping will not be permitted in these areas at any time.

  • If a workplace car park is substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, smoking and vaping is not permitted.

  • It is expected that all enclosed workplaces, not exempt from the law, are smoke-free and vape-free.

    If smoking or vaping occurs in an enclosed workplace, you can contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775 to discuss how to report a breach.

  • Breach of tobacco laws
    Infringement noticeMaximum penalties in
    Magistrates' Court
    Natural person
    Body corporateENatural person
    Body corporate
    Person smoking or vaping in an enclosed workplace1 PU-5 PU-
    Person in charge of the enclosed workplace at the time the smoking or vaping occurs2 PU-10 PU50 PU
    Occupier of a retail shopping centre, bingo area/centre, casino or enclosed restaurant/café, where acceptable ‘No smoking’ signs are not displayed2 PU5 PU10 PU50 PU

    Note: PU = penalty unit/s

  • The value of penalty units is indexed annually. The current value of a penalty unit is listed on the Department of Treasury and Finance, Indexation of fees and penalty unitsExternal Link page.

  • Yes. The person in charge of the enclosed workplace at the time the smoking occurs is not guilty of an offence if they 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 asked the person to stop smoking and informed the person they were committing an offence.

Reviewed 22 February 2024


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