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 to reduce smoking rates, encourage smokers to quit, and discourage people from taking up this lethal habit.

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 smoke cause many different cancers, 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 reduces cigarette consumption and 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 their 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 per cent  of respondents were supportive of these laws and 98 per cent 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.

Summary of state-wide smoke free laws in Queensland



Building entrances Smoking is banned at all non-residential building entrances and extends for 5 metres from the entrance.
Children’s playgrounds Smoking is banned within 10 metres of children’s outdoor playground equipment that is situated in a public place.
Educational facilities Smoking is banned at all early childhood facilities and public and private schools and for 5 metres beyond their boundaries.
Hospitals, healthcare and residential aged care facilities Smoking is banned at all Queensland public and private hospitals, health and residential aged care facilities and for 5 metres beyond their boundaries.
Major sports and event facilities Smoking is banned in all major sport and event facilities except in a nominated outdoor smoking area.
National Parks Smoking is banned in Queensland National parks.
Organised under 18 sporting events Smoking is banned within 10 meter of viewing and playing areas at organised under 18 sporting events. The ban applies during games and at training.
Outdoor eating or drinking areas Smoking is banned at all commercial outdoor eating and drinking areas.
Outdoor pedestrian malls Smoking is banned at outdoor pedestrian malls.
Patrolled and artificial beaches Smoking is banned between the flags at all patrolled beaches. Smoking is also banned at artificial beaches.
Public transport waiting points Smoking is banned at public transport waiting points and extends 5 metres beyond the waiting point. A public transport waiting point includes a bus stop, taxi rank, ferry terminal or any transit terminal for public passengers.
Public swimming pools  Smoking is banned at public swimming pools and the entire grounds inside the facility’s fence including the kiosk and seating areas.
Skate parks  Smoking is banned at all skate parks and extends for 10 metres from any part of a skate park.

Read more about tobacco laws in Queensland.