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Smoke-free areas

Smoke-free areas are important as they:

  • protect the community from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke
  • make smoking in the community less acceptable - the less people see smoking in public places the less they will tend to think it is okay, rather than harmful
  • support people who have quit or are trying to quit smoking.

Smoke-free outdoor dining

An outdoor dining area is an outdoor public area that has an occupier, and in which the occupier permits the consumption of food provided on a commercial basis.

This means during times food that is provided on a commercial basis:

  • is actually being eaten, or
  • is available to be purchased and eaten (regardless of whether anyone is eating).

Smoking is banned:

  • in commercial outdoor dining areas
  • in outdoor drinking areas, if any part of that area is within 4 metres of an outdoor dining area, unless separated by a wall at least 2.1 metres high (this applies to areas at the same venue as well as to neighbouring venues).

Building entrances

Smoking is now prohibited, under the Tobacco Act 1987, within four metres of an entrance to the following facilities:

  • all children’s indoor play centres
  • all public hospitals
  • all registered community health centres
  • certain Victorian Government buildings, including Parliament, law courts and police stations.

Smoking is also banned within the grounds of, and within four metres of an entrance to, all childcare centres, kindergartens and primary and secondary schools.

Under the new laws, anyone caught smoking within four metres of a building where the ban applies may face an on-the-spot infringement penalty.

Children’s recreational areas

By law, smoking is banned within 10 metres (about two car lengths) of:

  • all children’s playground equipment in outdoor public places in Victoria.
  • all skate parks in outdoor public places in Victoria.
  • any public outdoor sporting venue during an organised under-18s event.

Children’s playground equipment may include an individual piece of equipment or clusters of equipment, such as climbing frames, swings and slides.

The ban includes training or practice sessions to prepare for an organised under-age sporting event and breaks or intervals during the course of the event, training or practice session.

The ban also applies to outdoor drinking areas located within 10 metres of an children’s playground equipment, skate parks, outdoor sporting venue during an organised under-age sporting event or training session.

Smoke-free swimming pools

By law, smoking is banned within the outdoor areas of all public swimming pool complexes in Victoria.

The ban applies to all outdoor areas that are situated within the perimeter of a swimming pool complex, including outdoor drinking areas.

For more information: