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Queensland Smoking Laws

Laws and enforcement

There are various laws in Queensland which specify where and when you can and cannot smoke, as well as restrictions on the advertising, display and promotion of smoking products for retailers. These laws also apply for the use of e-cigarettes. It is worthwhile taking some time to review these laws as penalties do apply for any breaches.

Smoking bans are in effect across Queensland in different locations and situations. They cover major public places where adults and, more importantly, children frequent. This is to limit the communities exposure to second-hand smoke and generally make our State a healthier place to live in.

Below is a list of bans in place.

Health care facilities

Public and private hospitals

Smoking is banned at all Queensland public and private hospitals and public health facilities, and for five metres beyond their boundaries.

Inclusions

Any land on which any Queensland Health Hospital and Health Service provides health services, including hospitals, community health centres, health clinics, and rehabilitation centres.

Land on which a private health facility (private hospitals and day hospitals) provides services.

Details

The buffer is a five-metre no-smoking area beyond the boundary of the health care facility. This area does not extend into residential or business premises that share a boundary with health care land.

Residential aged care facilities

Smoking is banned at all Queensland public and private residential aged care facilities and for five metres beyond their boundaries.

Inclusions

Any land on which a facility is used to provide residential aged care is situated.

Exclusions

It does not include retirement villages and other areas where elderly persons live independently or aged care provided to people in their homes.

Details

A residential aged care facility may designate part of their outdoor area as a ‘nominated smoking place’ where smoking may occur.

The buffer is a five-metre no-smoking area beyond the boundary of the residential aged care facility. This area does not extend into residential or business premises that share a boundary with residential aged care facility land.

More information

For signage see Extra resources.

Outdoor eating and drinking

Smoking is banned in all outdoor eating or drinking areas where food or drink is provided as part of a business. This rule applies to all businesses.

Exclusions

Businesses can provide an outdoor area for patrons to smoke, but the food or drink you sell must not be served to patrons, taken into, or consumed in this area.

Details

  • The smoking ban applies while food or drink is being provided or is available to be provided.
  • The smoking area must not be in a place where smoking is otherwise banned.
  • You must ensure that patrons smoke only in this area.

More information

For signage see Extra resources.

Education facilities

Schools

Smoking is banned at all Queensland state and non-state schools and for five metres beyond their boundaries.

Inclusions

Land on which state or non-state primary, secondary or special education is provided.

Land on which state or non-state schools provide other educational instruction or activities, for example sports-grounds, and including land that is owned or leased by the school.

Five metres beyond the boundary of the school facilities.

Exclusions

The five-metre zone does not extend into residential or business premises that share a boundary with the school.

Details

The law applies at all times – during and after school hours, on weekends and during school holidays.

Early childhood education and care facilities

Smoking is banned at all early childhood education and care facilities and for five metres beyond their boundaries.

Inclusions

Land on which approved education and care services under the Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) Act 2011 are provided.

Land on which Queensland approved education and care services under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 are provided.

Five metres beyond early childhood education and care facilities boundaries.

Exclusions

For a family day care operating from a residential premises, the smoking ban does not apply when the premises is not being used to provide an early childhood education and care service (i.e. outside of operating hours).

The five-metre zone does not extend into residential or business premises that share a boundary with the early childhood education and care facility.

Details

The smoking ban applies at all times – during and after service hours, on weekends and during school holidays.

More information

For signage see Extra resources.

Recreation places

Public swimming facility

Smoking is banned at public swimming facilities.

Inclusions

A public swimming facility is a swimming pool that is owned or operated by a local government and is open to the public for swimming, whether or not on payment of money.

Includes the associated area for the public swimming pool, for example kiosk and seating area adjacent to the pool or if fenced, the entire grounds inside.

Outdoor swimming areas

Smoking is banned at prescribed outdoor swimming areas.

Inclusions

  • Aquativity and Stream Surrounds, the Boat Pool and Main Lagoon – South Bank (Brisbane)
  • Settlement Cove Lagoon (Redcliffe)
  • Airlie Beach Lagoon (Airlie Beach)
  • Bluewater Lagoon (Mackay)
  • Rockpool (Townsville)
  • Riverway Lagoons (Thuringowa Central)
  • Esplanade Lagoon (Cairns)
  • Yeppoon Lagoon (Yeppoon)

This includes the associated area for the outdoor swimming area, for example kiosk and areas adjacent to the pool to observe swimming or if fenced, the entire area inside.

Exclusions

An associated area for a pool does not extend beyond the nearest path, boardwalk, road or thoroughfare, building, water course or other body of water, unless they provide access to the pool. If this does not limit an associated area to 20m from the edge of the pool, then 20m from the edge of the pool.

Details

The ban is in affect at outdoor swimming areas between sunrise and sunset.

Patrolled beaches

Inclusions

Smoking is banned between the flags on a patrolled beach (where red and yellow flags mark the boundaries for safe swimming).

Details

This includes the area between the flags and down to the water and then back behind the flags to any road or park.

Skate parks

Smoking is banned at or within a 10-metre buffer zone within any part of a skate park.

Details

A skate park means a part of a public place for riding or skating on bicycles, rollerblades, rollerskates, skateboards and scooters around or over obstacles, jumps or uneven surfaces.

Children’s outdoor playground equipment

Smoking is banned within 10 metres of children’s outdoor playground equipment situated at a place that is ordinarily open to the public.

Exclusions

Ban does not apply to smokers driving past a playground, or playground equipment at residential premises or land for example, that is in a private backyard.

Any part of major sports and events facilities.

Smoking is banned at major sports facilities and at major event facilities.

Details

Smoking is banned within 10 metres of children’s outdoor playground equipment situated at a place that is ordinarily open to the public.

Any part of major sports facilities

Smoking is banned at major sports facilities and at major event facilities.

Inclusions

Facilities declared under the Major Sports Facility Act 2001 and managed by Stadiums Queensland:

  • Brisbane Entertainment Centre (Brisbane)
  • Queensland Country Ban Stadium (Townsville)
  • Townsville Stadium (Townsville)
  • The Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground) (Brisbane)
  • Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre (Brisbane)
  • Cbus Super Stadium (Gold Coast)
  • Sleeman Sports Complex (Brisbane)
  • Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane)
  • Queensland Tennis Centre (Brisbane)
  • Metricon Stadium (Gold Coast)

A major event facility means the major event area prescribed by regulation under the Major Events Act 2014 for the period the area is a major event under that Act. An example of a major event facility is the V8 Supercars motor racing events held at Townsville and the Gold Coast.

Exclusions

Ban does not apply to the roads, car parks, picnic areas or areas of parkland of the sports stadium facilities.

Major event facilities can have a nominated outdoor smoking place.

National parks

Inclusions

Prescribed areas of all Queensland national parks.

Details

The ban applies at or within 10 metres of campsites and at or within 10 metres of public facilities including picnic tables, toilet blocks, barbecues, visitor information centres, roofed shelters, jetties, boat ramps and landing stages.

Organised under-18 sporting events

An organised under-18 sporting event is one that is arranged in advance, is conducted by a professional or amateur sporting body or educational institution to established rules and is intended for or predominately participated in by people under 18.

Inclusions

Within 10 metres of viewing and playing areas, the viewing area for a water sport, public seating at the grounds and any other area reserved for use by the competitors and the officials.

The ban also applies during training or at any intervals or breaks in play.

Exclusions

The 10-metre buffer zones do not extend into residential or business premises that share a boundary with these areas.

More information

For fact sheets and signage see Extra resources.

Other public areas

Public transport waiting points

Inclusions

  • a bus stop, bus shelter, bus station or bus lay-by area
  • a taxi rank, limousine or other booked hire vehicle rank, standing area or collection point
  • a ferry terminal, jetty, pontoon or landing for ferry services
  • a transit terminal for public passengers.

Five metres beyond the waiting point

Details

A person is considered within the buffer zone if they are in a queue that starts at the public transport waiting point or within the buffer zone. For example, it is an offence to smoke while anywhere in a bus queue, even if the queue extends beyond five metres from the public transport waiting point.

The buffer zone does not extend into residential or business premises that share a boundary with the public transport waiting point.

Non-residential building entrances

Inclusions

Within five metres of entrance to government buildings, commercial buildings, shopping centres, banks or other non-residential buildings.

Details

The ban does not apply to entrances to liquor licensed premises with a Commercial Hotel Licence, Commercial Special Facility Licence (that contain all or part of a casino) or a Community Club Licence under the Liquor Act 1992 or a vehicle or part of a vehicle.

Outdoor pedestrian malls

Inclusions

Outdoor pedestrian malls that have been established under the City of Brisbane Act 2010, the Local Government Act 2009 or continued as a mall under the City of Brisbane Act 2010.

Motor vehicles (in certain circumstances)

Inclusions

If a person under the age of 16 is present.

A motor vehicle being used for business use if more than one person is in the vehicle.

More information

For fact sheets and signage see Extra resources.

Government precincts

Inclusions

Smoking is banned on land on which particular government buildings are located and the adjacent footpaths and nature strips.

Details

The no smoking ban applies to:

  • 33 Charlotte Street, Brisbane
  • 41 George Street, Brisbane
  • 63 George Street, Brisbane
  • 111 George Street, Brisbane
  • Education House, 30 Mary Street, Brisbane
  • 61 Mary Street, Brisbane
  • 1 William Street, Brisbane
  • Claude Wharton Building, 46 Quay Street, Bundaberg
  • William McCormack Place, 5B Sheridan Street, Cairns
  • Mike Ahern Building, 12 First Avenue, Maroochydore
  • Brendan Hansen Building, 50–54 Main Street, Pialba
  • James Larcombe Place, 209 Bolsover Street, Rockhampton
  • Government Office Building No. 3, 187–209 Stanley Street, Townsville

Motor vehicles (in certain circumstances)

Inclusions

If a person under the age of 16 is present or a motor vehicle being used for business if more than one person is in the vehicle.

Local government

Local government can make local laws prohibiting smoking at outdoor public places in their local government area. A local law can only be made for a public place that is not already covered by state-wide smoking laws.

Licensed venues

Inclusions

100% of the indoor area.

Outdoor eating and drinking areas where food or drink is provided as part of a business.

Exclusions

Certain liquor licensed premises can have a Designated Outdoor Smoking Area (DOSA). A DOSA is a space that allows smoking and drinking, but not eating, to occur.

Details

Only the following liquor licensed venues can have a DOSA:

  • commercial hotel,
  • community club, or
  • commercial special facility (containing all or part of a casino).

More information

For more information about a DOSA visit health.qld.gov.au

Fines and penalties

Tough fines and penalties apply if you are found to be in breach of Queensland smoking laws. For more information on all fines and penalties visit the Queensland Government website.

More information

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