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Smoke-free environments help to protect people from second-hand smoke, de-normalise smoking for young people, reduce tobacco use in current smokers and assist those wanting to quit.

In South Australia there are various rules and regulations that have been introduced over time that are designed to protect employees, children and the public from second-hand smoke.

In South Australia, the sale, supply, promotion and use of tobacco and e-cigarette products and areas where smoking and use of e-cigarettes is banned is regulated by the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 (the Act).

A tobacco product is defined as:

  • cigarettes
  • electronic cigarettes
  • cigars
  • cigarette or pipe tobacco
  • shisha tobacco
  • tobacco prepared for chewing or sucking
  • snuff
  • any other product, of a kind prescribed by regulation that is comprised of or contains tobacco
  • any product (other than an e-cigarette product) that does not contain tobacco but is designed for smoking.

For more information about the smoking rules and regulations in SA, visit the SA Health website.

In South Australia, smoking is banned in outdoor dining areas. An outdoor dining area is an open (not enclosed) public area where tables and/or chairs are permanently or temporarily provided for the purpose of public dining.

The ban extends to cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and pipes (including shisha, hookah, and water pipes). Currently it does not extend to areas which are solely for the purpose of consuming drinks.

For more information, visit the SA Health website.

In South Australia, smoking is banned in all enclosed or indoor public spaces, shared areas, and workplaces. Enclosed spaces are defined as spaces where 70 per cent or more of the space is enclosed with walls and/or ceilings. This includes spaces that have shade sails, umbrellas, lattice and louvers. Public spaces include shopping malls, hospitality venues, enclosed sports and recreation venues and enclosed workplaces. Shared areas include enclosed stairwells, carparks, foyers, corridors, laundries, kitchens and common rooms.

Prisons are now also smoke-free in South Australia.

Whilst there is no legislation to ban smoking directly outside a business, businesses may choose to implement a smoke-free policy that includes buffer zones and appropriate signage around their entrances.

For more information about smoke-free enclosed public areas, visit the SA Health website.

Smoking in an enclosed workplace is banned in South Australia. To build on this, workplaces can introduce comprehensive smoke-free policies that extend smoking bans to other areas of the workplace for the purposes of health and safety, or limit the areas where people can go to smoke. Workplaces are encouraged to develop and implement smoke-free policies and procedures to protect staff from the dangers of second-hand smoke and mitigate other fire-related hazards.

For more information about developing smoke-free policy and procedures at your workplace, visit the SA Health website.

Smoking is banned in motor vehicles when children under 16 years are present, even if the windows are down. This applies to motor vehicles that are stationary and moving and to any person in the vehicle who is smoking while a child is present. If you see someone smoking in a car with children, you can contact your local police station and provide details of the offence such as the car registration, car make and model, time and date of the offence and the location.

Smoking is banned within 10 metres of a children’s playground in a public area in South Australia, including when it is enclosed or separated from another area by a fence. This includes playgrounds in parks, schools, sporting venues, restaurants, hotels, and businesses. It doesn’t include BMX tracks or outdoor exercise equipment, except where exercise equipment is co-located with a children’s playground.

All forms of smoking are banned under all covered public transport waiting areas—including bus, tram, train and taxi shelters—and other areas used to board or alight from public transport that are covered by a roof. This includes any covered space of a public transport waiting area, such as the veranda or roof from an adjacent building.

For more information, visit the SA Health website.

Community support for smoke-free, safe, and healthy environments is very high. As a result, many South Australian public areas have become voluntarily smoke-free over the past decade, including outdoor events.

There are several areas in South Australia now smoke-free under legislation since being declared smoke-free outdoor areas. These include Rundle Mall in Adelaide CBD, The Parade in Norwood, Henley Square in Henley Beach, Mosely Square in Glenelg, and Bowden Town Square in Bowden. There are also declared smoke-free South Australian events such as The Royal Adelaide Show and the annual Ceduna Oysterfest.

Section 51 and Section 52 of the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 allows local government and other incorporated bodies to identify and apply to have a certain outdoor areas or events declared non-smoking. This will allow the area or event’s non-smoking status to be enforceable under the Act.

Local government and incorporated bodies are strongly encouraged to create smoke-free environments to improve the health of their community and patrons. A smoke-free environment will also send a positive health message to the community and create a cleaner and safer environment.

Local councils and other incorporated bodies can apply to have an outdoor area or event declared smoke-free through the Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) Tobacco Control Unit.

Outdoor areas that could be declared smoke free outdoor areas include town centres, high traffic outdoor shopping precincts and streets, high traffic tourist destinations, or other locations where the public gather.

Events that could become smoke-free include music, craft, food and cultural festivals, events aimed at children and families, outdoor expos, field days, pageants, outdoor markets, sports carnivals or other events where the public gather for an activity.

Short-term applications

The Minister for Health and Wellbeing has the power to declare a smoke-free area for a period of up to three days. Examples include football carnivals, fetes, pageants, and other community events. Completed applications for an event of three days or less should be received at least eight weeks before the event

Long-term applications

Major and longer-term areas and events will be declared smoke-free by Regulation. Due to the Cabinet and Parliamentary processes required to introduce a Regulation, an application is required at least six months before it is introduced.

Applying to create a declared smoke-free outdoor area or event

Visit the SA Health website for an application guide and fact sheets for creating a declared smoke-free outdoor area or event.

Before applying to create a smoke-free outdoor area or event, call the DASSA Tobacco Control Unit on 08 7425 5000 to discuss your proposal.

Many recreation and sporting organisations choose to become smoke-free due to the increased demand from players, club members, families, and community to watch and play sport in a smoke-free environment. In response, SA Health has developed a policy guide to support recreation and sporting organisations to become smoke-free.

For more information and support on creating a smoke-free venue visit the SA Health website.

Signage helps to clearly identify non-smoking areas. SA Health has a range of free, downloadable ‘No smoking’ signage for retailers, workplaces, and organisation. This signage can be sent to a professional printer or printed in-house.

For more information and to download signage visit the SA Health website.

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This page was last reviewed in March 2022.