New Smoking Laws Commence

In August 2012, the NSW State Parliament passed new anti-smoking legislation which came into effect on Monday, 7 January 2013. The new laws are designed to reduce community exposure to second-hand smoke, which AMA (NSW) president Professor Brian Owler says is no less toxic for people than the smoke inhaled by smokers themselves.

The new laws ban smoking in the following outdoor public places:

- Within 4 meters of a pedestrian access point to a public building including non-residential buildings and combined residential / commercial buildings
- Public transport including light rail stops and stations, railway stations and platforms, bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry wharves
- Within 10 meters of children’s play equipment in outdoor public spaces
- Spectator areas of sporting grounds during organised sporting events
- Open areas of public swimming pool complexes

The government is urging cafe and restaurant owners to begin work on responding to and preparing for the next phase of the anti-smoking legislation which will take effect from 2015. The next phase will see a ban on smoking in all commercial outdoor dining areas.