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Outdoor public areas

Public transport waiting points

From 1 September 2016, smoking is banned at public transport waiting points and within a 5 metre buffer zone beyond the waiting point.

A public transport waiting point is defined as:

  • a bus stop, bus shelter, bus station or bus lay-by
  • a taxi rank, limousine rank or limousine standing area
  • a ferry terminal, jetty, pontoon or landing for ferry services
  • a transit terminal for public passengers.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Five metre buffer zone

The buffer zone is a 5 metre no-smoking area beyond the waiting point. A person is considered to be within the buffer zone if they are in a queue that starts at the public transport waiting point. For example, it will be an offence to smoke while anywhere in a bus queue, even if the queue extends beyond 5 metres from the public transport waiting point.

The buffer zone does not extend into residential or business premises that share a boundary with the public transport waiting point.

National Parks

From 1 February 2017 it is against the law to smoke in areas of Queensland national parks.

Smoking is banned within 10 metres of in-use campsites and any public facilities such as picnic tables, toilet blocks, barbecues, visitor information centres, shelters, jetties and boat ramps.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Organised under-18 sporting events

From 1 September 2016, smoking is banned within 10 metres of viewing and playing areas at organised under-18 sporting events. The ban also applies during training and at any intervals or breaks in play.

The coverage of the ban includes the sporting ground or playing area, the viewing area for a water sport, public seating at the grounds and any other area reserved for use by the competitors and the officials.  This also includes a 10 metre non-smoking buffer zone from all of these locations.

An organised under-18 sporting event is one that is arranged in advance and is conducted by a professional or amateur sporting body or education institution according to established rules.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

More information

Building entrances

From 1 September 2016, the no-smoking area at non-residential building entrances extends from 4 to 5 metres. This includes entrances to government buildings, commercial buildings, shopping centres, banks and other non-residential buildings.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Outdoor pedestrian malls

From 1 September 2016, smoking is banned at outdoor pedestrian malls.

This includes outdoor pedestrian malls that have been established under the City of Brisbane Act, the Local Government Act or continued as a mall under the City of Brisbane Act.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Skate parks

From 1 September 2016, smoking is banned at or within a 10 metre buffer zone within any part of a skate park. A skate park means a part of a public place with equipment including obstacles, jumps or uneven surfaced used for riding or skating on bicycles, rollerblades, rollerskates, skateboards and scooters.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Public swimming pools

From 1 September 2016, smoking is banned at public swimming facilities.

A public swimming facility is defined as:

  • a swimming pool that is owned or operated by a local government and is open to the public for swimming, whether or not on payment of money
  • includes the associated area for the swimming pool, for example, kiosk and seating area adjacent, and the entire grounds inside the facility’s fence.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Children's playground equipment

Smoking is illegal within 10 metres of children's outdoor playground equipment situated at a place that is ordinarily open to the public. This rule does not apply to smokers driving past a playground, or playground equipment that is in a private backyard.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Outdoor eating or drinking areas

All commercial outdoor eating or drinking areas in Queensland are smoke-free.

An outdoor eating or drinking area is any outdoor area of a business where customers are allowed to consume food or drink that has been provided by the business.

Food or drink 'provided by the business' means table service, or service at a counter inside with the food or drink taken by customers to the outdoor eating or drinking area.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Patrolled beaches

Smoking is illegal between the flags on a patrolled beach.

A patrolled beach is a beach on which red and yellow flags mark the boundaries for safe swimming. The smoking ban includes the area between the flags and down to the water and then back behind the flags to any road or park.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Artificial beaches

Smoking is illegal at these artificial beaches between sunrise and sunset:

  • Streets Beach - South Bank (Brisbane)
  • Settlement Cove Lagoon (Redcliffe)
  • Airlie Beach Lagoon (Airlie Beach)
  • Bluewater Lagoon (Mackay)
  • Rockpool (Townsville)
  • Esplanade Lagoon (Cairns).

The ban covers the entire beach, as there are usually no red and yellow flags to mark the boundaries for safe swimming.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Major sports and event facilities

Smoking is prohibited in any part of major sports facilities declared under the Major Sports Facility Act 2001 and managed by Stadiums Queensland including:

  • Brisbane Entertainment Centre (Brisbane)
  • Willows Sports Complex, incorporating Dairy Farmers Stadium (Townsville)
  • The Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground), (Brisbane)
  • Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre (formerly QEII or ANZ Stadium), (Brisbane)
  • Skilled Park (Gold Coast)
  • Sleeman Sports Centre (Brisbane)
  • Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane)

The ban does not apply to the roads, car parks, picnic areas and parkland of the sports stadium facilities.

Smoking is also prohibited at major event facilities, except in a nominated outdoor smoking place. A major event facility means the major event area prescribed by regulation under the Major Events Act 2014 for the period the area is a major event under that Act. An example of a major event facility is the V8 Supercars motor racing events held at Townsville and the Gold Coast.

The smoking ban includes the use of all smoking products, including electronic cigarettes.

Local Government – Public Space

From 1 September 2016, local government can make local laws prohibiting smoking at outdoor public places in their local government area. A local law can only be made for a public place that is not already covered by state-wide tobacco laws. 

Last updated: 18 August 2016

Find out more

Tobacco legislation:

Call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) for:

  • information about Queenslands existing tobacco laws
  • reporting possible breaches of the legislation for further investigation
  • help for tobacco retailers and liquor licensed venue managers to understand and comply with the laws
  • information about current fines and penalties
  • free copies of signs and forms required by legislation.