Smoke free public places- Information for Local Councils

This information is designed to support local governments to enact local laws in outdoor public places to create smoke free environments.

There are many benefits of broadening smoke free spaces, both for Councils and residents. Smoke free spaces help encourage smokers to quit, discourage people from taking up this lethal habit, and protect others from second-hand smoke exposure.

There can be no doubt that the leadership of local councils is key to creating healthier and happier local communities for all Queenslanders.

Together we can create a smoke free future.

Why are smoke free environments so important?

Smoking and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke causes 16 different types of cancer, lung disease and heart disease. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to second-hand smoke, which can cause SIDS, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and other respiratory conditions.

There is no safe level of exposure to smoking and second-hand smoke. Smoking bans at outdoor public places prevents exposure to second-hand smoke, reducing smoking related harm and discouraging uptake of the habit.

Smoke-free public places have enormous benefits for the community including:

  • Healthier environments in which to live, work and play.
  • Preventing avoidable illness.
  • Reduced smoking rates in the local area.
  • Reduced litter from cigarette butts and packets.
  • Positive role modelling for young people.
  • Reduced fire risks.

State-wide legislation enforcing smoke-free spaces

The State Government has implemented some of the strongest smoke-free laws in the world, banning smoking in many public places across Queensland. Click here for a summary of state-wide smoke free laws in Queensland.

A recent survey undertaken by Cancer Council Queensland found that 88 percent of respondents were supportive of these laws and 88 percent were aware of the harms of second-hand smoke. These results reveal an extremely high level of community support for smoke-free public places.

What can Councils do?

Local governments have the power to ban smoking in any outdoor public space not covered by state-wide smoking laws such as forecourts, squares, busy streets and sidewalks and anywhere that people gather.

Resources to help you implement smoke-free public places

Cancer Council Queensland has developed a series of fact sheets and signage to support the introduction of smoke free public places in local government areas. The factsheets also include two case studies outlining how local councils have implemented smoke free laws in their jurisdictions.

For further support or to seek the Cancer Council Queensland logo on your smoke free signage, please contact us at

If you would like your local council to implement law to create a smoke-free outdoor public place, contact your local councillor or Mayor.