Smoking in public places

Smoking in public places

Martin Place smoking ban trial

The City of Sydney will introduce a smoking ban in Martin Place as part of a trial to improve health and environmental impacts from cigarettes in public spaces.

The 12-month trial follows an investigation we undertook into what the community thinks about smoking in outdoor public places, including Martin Place.

One of the aims of the trial is to reduce community exposure to harmful second-hand tobacco smoke.

City staff will monitor the effectiveness of the ban during the trial, which will begin in early 2015 across all outdoor areas of Martin Place.

Smoking is already prohibited in some areas of Martin Place under NSW law, including smoking restrictions up to 4m away from a public building entrance with pedestrian access.

Before the trial starts an information campaign will raise community awareness about the existing and upcoming restrictions.

New 'No Smoking' signs will be installed in Martin Place. 

Smoking complaints

The NSW Government is responsible for regulating cigarette smoking in the public domain.

City of Sydney staff are not authorised to enforce the smoking laws and so all complaints concerning smoking in public spaces should be forwarded to NSW Health for investigation.

To make a complaint concerning smoking in the public domain call 1800 357 412.

You can read more about smoking laws or lodge a complaint.

The City of Sydney supports NSW Health programs to reduce the public health impacts of smoking.

Smoking restrictions

Smoking laws were changed in 2012 making it illegal to smoke in some outdoor spaces including:

  • public transport stops and stations
  • around entrances to public buildings
  • near children's playgrounds
  • near spectators at sports grounds

The NSW Government has also announced that smoking in outdoor dining areas will be prohibited from July 2015 – and will include smoking bans on footpaths outside licensed cafés and pubs.

Since July 2007, smoking has been prohibited in all enclosed areas of licensed premises open to the public in NSW with the exception of private gaming rooms at The Star casino. NSW Health may impose penalties if a person smokes, or a venue allows someone to smoke, in a smoke-free area. 

Stamping out butts

We need fewer cigarette butts on our streets and in our waterways

A City Ranger or NSW Police Officer may fine an individual $80 for discarding an unlit or extinguished cigarette, and $200 if it is still alight.

Personal ashtrays are available free from our Neighbourhood Service Centres. The City will supply businesses with 1 free wall-mounted ashtray to attach to their building’s exterior.


To obtain more information or to make a complaint, contact your local Public Health Unit or the Tobacco Information Line.

NSW Health: Tobacco information line
1800 357

Last updated: Tuesday, 9 December 2014