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Queensland Smoking Laws


Here you will find legal requirements for hospitality venues.

Non-liquor licensed food or drink businesses

Indoor smoking bans apply to all non-licensed food or BYO premises.

All outdoor eating or drinking areas where food or drink is provided as part of a business, must be no-smoking. This rule applies to all businesses.

If you wish to provide an outdoor area for patrons to smoke

  • the food or drink you sell must not be served to patrons, taken into, or consumed in this area
  • you must ensure that patrons smoke only in this area
  • the area must not be enclosed; and
  • the area must not be an area where smoking is otherwise prohibited under the Act for example within five metres of an entrance to an enclosed place/building.

You do not need to have a buffer zone between the smoking area and other outdoor areas.

Liquor licensed businesses

For all businesses, the indoor area and the outdoor eating or drinking areas where food or drink is provided as part of a business must be no-smoking.

The licensee of premises to which a Commercial Hotel Licence, Commercial Special Facility Licence (containing all or part of a casino) or a Community Club Licence under the Liquor Act 1992 applies must display a no smoking sign. This should comply with the requirements of the regulation in a place that is easily visible at each public entrance from an outdoor area to an enclosed place at.

A no smoking sign must display either a no smoking symbol in the form of a circle and a diagonal line over a depiction of a cigarette and smoke or a no smoking symbol in the form of a circle and a diagonal line over a depiction of a cigarette and smoke and an electronic cigarette. The symbol must be at least 70mm in diameter. The sign can also display words that indicate smoking is not permitted.

No smoking signs are available for free by calling 13 QGOV ( 13 74 68).

Designated Outdoor Smoking Area (DOSA)

Under the smoking laws, liquor licensed premises that hold a commercial hotel, community club or commercial special facility licence (containing all or part of a casino) can designate an outdoor area where smoking and drinking, but not eating, can occur. Penalties apply for non-compliance.

A DOSA is an outdoor area where patrons who wish to smoke may take their drink while they have a cigarette.

Rules for a DOSA

  • You can have more than one DOSA at the premises, but the total area of all DOSAs must not be more than 50% of the whole outdoor liquor licensed area of the premises.
  • Each DOSA must have a buffer on its perimeter, wherever it is next to other parts of your outdoor area that are ordinarily accessed by patrons.
  • It is a legal requirement that the entire remaining outdoor licensed area is no-smoking. As a licensee it is your responsibility to ensure that patrons do not smoke in these areas of the premises.
  • You must prepare and keep up-to-date a Smoking Management Plan for the entire premises.
  • You must put up a diagram or sign that clearly shows the limits of the area/s, and the availability of the Smoking Management Plan.

What cannot happen in a DOSA:

  • Food cannot be taken into or consumed in the DOSA. “Food” means anything you can eat, and includes all food items, such as meals and snacks (e.g. chips and nuts).
  • Food or drink cannot be served to patrons in the DOSA. Staff can enter the DOSA to clear glasses and empty ashtrays, but they must not take orders from, or serve food or drinks to patrons.
  • No entertainment can be provided in the DOSA. This includes having television screens, music speakers, bands, pool tables, or any other type of amusement in the area.
  • No gaming machines can be located in the DOSA.

About buffers

A buffer indicates a separation between smoking and no-smoking areas. There are two options for buffers:

  • an area at least two metres wide in which patrons cannot eat, drink or smoke. At least one metre must come from your DOSA area and the other one metre must come from your no-smoking area or
  • a screen at least 2.1 metres high that is impervious to smoke, this should be placed on the perimeter of your DOSA.

Smoking management plan

If you choose to have a DOSA at your premises, you must:

  • prepare and keep up-to-date a Smoking Management Plan for the entire premises
  • display a sign in or near your DOSA stating that your Smoking Management Plan is available on request; and
  • make your Smoking Management Plan available on request to patrons and Queensland Health enforcement officers who inspect your premises.

The Smoking Management Plan must:

  • identify the designated outdoor smoking area/s
  • identify the outdoor areas where food is provided
  • identify the buffers
  • state how the licensee will minimise the exposure of staff and patrons to environmental tobacco smoke
  • describe the training or instruction given to staff to ensure the laws and the Smoking Management Plan are complied with; and
  • state that signage is provided in the premises to identify where smoking is or is not allowed.

Completing your plan

The Smoking management plan template is the blank version of the plan that you can use to create a plan for your premises.

The sample Smoking management plan is an example of how the plan could be filled out.

The plan does not need to be approved by Queensland Health, but it is an offence to not make the plan available to Queensland Health enforcement officers on request.

Special circumstances

The use of outdoor areas may change from day to day. For example, on a cold and windy day, plastic walls could be pulled down, and this can have the effect of making the outdoor area ‘enclosed’. In this situation the area may not be used as a DOSA.

As another example, a premise may have two small DOSAs, but on an ‘event’ day may want to have one larger DOSA. This is allowed, but the Smoking management plan must include the details of the different scenarios and all configurations must meet legislative requirements.

Smoking management plan template

Form to be completed by licensed venues who wish to have a DOSA.


Sample smoking management plan

An example of how to complete the smoking management plan.


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