Smoking in public places

Smoking in public places

PItt Street Mall survey

We are interested in your feedback about the permanent smoke-free zone in Pitt Street Mall. The survey will take you less than 1 minute to complete.

Start the survey

New smoke-free zone – Sydney Square

Sydney Square (between Bathurst St and Druitt St and George St and Kent St) became proudly and permanently smoke-free on Monday 20 January 2020.

The move builds up on the City's successful smoke-free areas in Martin Place and Pitt St Mall where 4 out of 5 people we surveyed said they wanted the Martin Place trial made permanent and extended to other areas (see results below).

Signs will alert pedestrians to the new smoke-free zone. The change will create a healthier environment for city residents, businesses, workers and visitors.

NSW smoke-free legislation

The NSW Government is mainly responsible for regulating smoking in public spaces. City staff are not authorised to enforce NSW smoke-free legislation.

Complaints about smoking in public spaces should be lodged with NSW Health for investigation. To make a complaint about smoking in public spaces call:

1800 357 412

To report concerns about smoking or cigarette butt littering at the Pitt Street Mall seating or Martin Place, contact customer service:

02 9265 9333

You can also read more about smoking laws and initiatives. The City supports NSW Health programs to reduce the public health impacts of smoking.

Martin Place – Proud to be smoke-free

Council endorsed the smoke-free trial in Martin Place becoming permanent at its meeting on 27 June 2016. The 12-month trial aimed to promote civic pride and amenity with a focus on a healthier way of life.

This initiative is supported by the NSW Heart Foundation, Cancer Council NSW and Cancer Institute NSW. The trial started on Monday 11 May 2015 and concluded on Friday 13 May 2016.

Public survey results

We asked for your feedback during the 12-month smoke-free trial in Martin Place and received just over 500 responses. Our online survey asked 3 questions:

  1. Do you support the smoke-free trial in Martin Place?
  2. Would you support an extension of the trial to other areas of the city?
  3. Are you more or less likely to visit an area if you know it is smoke-free?

The overwhelming majority responded in support of the Martin Place smoke-free trial.

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.

Smoking in outdoor dining areas became prohibited in July 2015 and includes smoking bans on footpaths outside licensed cafés and pubs. Smoking is not permitted within 4m of these areas.

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 – $200 if it is still alight.

Personal ashtrays are available free from our customer service centres.

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

Do you support the smoke-free trial in Martin Place?

Yes 403, No 109.

Would you support an extension of the trial to other areas of the city?

Yes 402, No 110

Are you more or less likely to visit an area if you know it is smoke-free?

More likely 402, Less likely 110

Last updated: Monday, 20 January 2020