Department of Health

Key messages

  • Smoking is prohibited within four metres of the entrances to certain Victorian Government buildings.
  • The ban includes the entrances to Parliament, the Victorian courts and buildings occupied by Victorian Government departments, administrative offices and special bodies.
  • Occupiers are required to display an acceptable ‘No smoking’ sign at an entrance.

By law, smoking is banned within four metres of the entrances to certain Victorian Government buildings.

This law covers buildings occupied either wholly or in part by:

  • Parliament (but not electorate offices)
  • Victorian courts, including the Supreme Court, County Court, magistrate’s court, Children’s Court and Coroners Court
  • public service bodies, including all Victorian Government departments and administrative offices, and the Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • special bodies, including all police stations.

The following diagram shows an example of where the smoking ban applies.

No-smoking area outside Victorian Government buildings:

Entrance of Victorian Government building

Smoke-free government buildings - FAQs

  • The smoking ban covers the seven departments of the Victorian Government, namely:

    • Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
    • Department of Education and Training
    • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
    • Department of Health & Human Services
    • Department of Justice & Regulation
    • Department of Premier and Cabinet
    • Department of Treasury and Finance.
  • The administrative offices within the meaning of the Public Administration Act 2004 are:

    • Environmental Protection Authority
    • Local Government Investigations & Compliance Inspectorate
    • Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel
    • Office of the Governor
    • Public Record Office Victoria
    • Regional Rail Link Authority
    • Victorian Government Architect
    • Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office
    • Family Safety Victoria
    • Latrobe Valley Authority
    • Level Crossing Removal Authority
    • Melbourne Metro Rail Authority
    • North East Link Authority
    • Office of Projects Victoria
    • Safer Care Victoria
    • Victorian Agency for Health Information
    • Western Distributor Authority
  • The special bodies within the meaning of the Public Administration Act 2004 are:

    • Department of the Parliament of Victoria
    • Electoral Boundaries Commission
    • Mental Health Complaints Commissioner
    • Mental Health Tribunal
    • Office of the Health Complaints Commissioner
    • Office of the Ombudsman
    • Office of the Victims of Crime Commissioner
    • Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner
    • Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
    • Victorian Auditor-General’s Office
    • Victorian Electoral Commission
    • Victoria Police (including all Victorian Police Stations)
    • Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission
    • The Commission for Children and Young People
    • The Victorian Inspectorate
  • The purpose of the ban is to:

    • protect the community from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke
    • further ‘de-normalise’ smoking in the community - the less people see smoking in public places, the less they will tend to think that smoking is acceptable rather than harmful
    • support people who have quit or are trying to quit smoking.
  • A pedestrian access point refers to a door or gate by which a person can enter or exit the premises. It does not include emergency exits that are locked to entry, but does include shared doors or gates.

    For example, where a building is occupied by a Victorian Government department as well as other organisations, such as private businesses, any shared entrances that are used to access both areas of the building would be subject to the smoking ban.

    Any entrances that lead only to premises not included in the smoking ban, such as private offices, would not be subject to the ban.

  • The ban does not apply:

    • to entrances of Commonwealth Government buildings, such as Centrelink or Medicare offices
    • to entrances of local government buildings, such as municipal libraries
    • to an emergency exit that is locked to entry
    • to a person walking through the smoke-free area
    • to a person in a motor vehicle who is driving or being driven through the smoke-free area
    • to a person in an area that is separated from the smoke-free area by a road
    • to a person in an outdoor drinking area located within the smoke-free area
    • to a person at a residential premises (in privately owned homes or land).
  • Occupiers are required to display signs in smoke-free areas.

  • No. Occupiers will not be expected to enforce the ban and are not empowered to do so.

    Compliance with the ban is expected to occur through a public awareness campaign and changed community expectations.

    Consultation undertaken by the Department of Health & Human Services shows strong community support for banning smoking at public places, particularly where children are present. These factors are likely to result in high levels of voluntary compliance with the smoking ban.

  • Signage: Occupiers are required by law to install acceptable ‘No smoking’ signs at entrances (pedestrian access points) to certain Victorian Government buildings. Signs can be ordered free of charge through the online order form on the Resources and factsheets page, and electronic versions can also be downloaded from this page.

    Promotional materials: Posters and factsheets are also available to help inform staff, visitors and the general public about the smoking ban at certain Victorian Government buildings. These can be downloaded or ordered free of charge through the online order form on the Resources and factsheets page.

  • Under the Tobacco Act 1987 an occupier in relation to an area or premises means:

    • a person who appears to be of or over the age of 16 years and who is or appears to be in control of the area or premises, whether or not the person is present in the area or on the premises; or
    • a body corporate that is or appears to be in control of the area or premises.

Reviewed 01 December 2022


Contact us

Tobacco Control Section Department of Health GPO Box 4057, Melbourne, VIC 3001

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