Smoke-free enclosed public areas

Smoking is banned in all enclosed or indoor public places, shared areas and workplaces. Banning smoking in enclosed public areas protects the community from the harmful effects of passive smoking.

Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997

Enclosed public areas are smoke-free under the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997.

The Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 was renamed the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 as of 31 March 2019 and regulates e-cigarettes in the same manner as tobacco. Therefore, enclosed public areas are also free from e-cigarette use.

What is meant by enclosed?

An area is enclosed if it is fully or partially enclosed by a ceiling/roof and walls such that the combined area of the ceiling and the wall surface exceeds 70% of the total ceiling/wall space.

Materials such as shade sails, umbrellas, shade cloth, lattice and louvers are all considered to enclose as area as they restrict airflow.

What is meant by public place?

A public place or public area is something that is open to, or used by the public, whether access is unrestricted or subject to payment of money, membership of a body or otherwise. For example, the following enclosed public places must be smoke-free:

  • shopping malls
  • hospitality venues including pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and the casino
  • enclosed sports or recreation areas
  • other enclosed workplaces.

What is meant by shared area?

In some residential facilities, for example units and hostels, there are areas that are used by all tenants, these are considered shared areas. For example, the following enclosed shared areas must be smoke-free:

  • enclosed stairwells, car parks, foyers or corridors
  • laundries, kitchens or common rooms.

Can people smoke around the entrances to businesses and shopping centres?

There is no legislation banning people from smoking outside the front of businesses, however businesses can implement their own smoke-free policies, for example buffer zones and signage around entrances.

Will there be signage to alert people that that smoking is not permitted in enclosed public areas?

To inform the public and to reduce the likelihood of non-compliance and associated penalties for premises and the public, owners and operators should display no-smoking signage to indicate where smoking is not permitted.

Can a person smoke inside private premises?

If the premises is a private residence, for example a hostel or nursing home, and does not have a smoke-free policy, it may be possible to smoke in some areas, such as in a bedroom, provided the area is not a shared area. Duty of care and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 are some of the things to consider when permitting smoking in private areas.

Can prisoners smoke inside?

Areas defined as workplaces or shared areas, such as kitchens, dining areas, industrial workshops and laundries, must be smoke-free.

All South Australian prisons and prison grounds will be smoke free by the end of 2019.

How do I report a breach of this legislation?

You should first notify your concern to a staff member at the venue.

You can also report a suspected breach by making a report to SA Health’s Health Protection Operations.

How is this enforced?

Authorised officers under the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 are responsible for enforcing this law.

What is the fine?

Both the occupier of the premises and the person smoking can be fined. Maximum fines are:

  • occupier - $2500
  • person smoking - $750

Further information

For further information on smoke-free areas, contact