Reminder – Changes to Smoking Laws in Licensed Premises

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The following smoking laws will be in effect on and from 6 July 2015 pursuant to sections 4A and 6A of the Smoke Free Environment Act 2000 (NSW) :

1.      No smoking in commercial outdoor dining areas:

  • This means that it is an offence to smoke in an outdoor public place that is a seated dining area. It is also an offence to smoke within 4 metres of a seated dining area on premises that are licenced premises or within 10 metres of a place at a food fair where food is sold for consumption.
  • An area is only a seated dining area when food is being consumed there or is available to be purchased and consumed there.

2.      No smoking within 4 metres of a ‘pedestrian access point’ (the ‘4 metre law’):

  • This means that it is an offence to smoke in an area that is within 4 metres of an entry to or exit from a building
  • A ‘pedestrian access point’ does not include an entry to a building used for residential purposes or an emergency exit that is locked to entry.
  • It is a defence if the person is smoking but is only “passing through” a pedestrian access point and did not remain in that area.

Signage requirements vary for commercial outdoor dining areas and a ‘pedestrian access point. If you are the owner of a commercial outdoor dining area you are obliged to comply with the following signage requirements:

  • the smoking prohibited symbol (or an equivalent symbol) with a diameter of at least 90 mm;
  • the words “NO SMOKING” in letters of at least 20 mm in height;
  • a reference to the name of the Act; and
  • the words “Penalties may apply”.

At this stage, signage is not mandatory for a ‘pedestrian access point’ however it is strongly encouraged to help compliance with the law.

A useful guide to implementing the changes coming into effect on 6 July is available on the NSW Health Website and can be downloaded here

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