Smokefree Environments Legislation

Smokefree legislation applies to schools, early childhood centres, retailers, licensed premises, sports clubs and all employers.

Aims of the smokefree law

Photo of a kayaker going along a bushy coast.

The aims are to:

  • protect all workers and the public from second-hand smoke
  • reduce the harm caused to individuals by their smoking
  • further restrict minors’ (under 18) access to smoking products and prevent negative influences on young people
  • further promote a smokefree (auahi kore) lifestyle as the norm.

Smokefree law sets out to achieve these aims by:

  • limiting the marketing, advertising and promotion of tobacco products
  • protecting people from the poisons in second-hand smoke by making it illegal to smoke indoors in public areas and workplaces.

Smokefree places

The following places must be smokefree at all times:

  • the buildings and grounds of schools and early childhood centres
    • indoor areas of licensed premises and workplaces – ‘licensed premises’ includes bars, restaurants, cafés, sports clubs and casinos, ‘workplaces’ includes offices, factories, warehouses, work canteens and ‘smoko’ rooms.

Making a complaint

To make a complaint under smokefree law, you will need to contact a smoke-free environment officer. Contact numbers can be found at Smokefree complaints.

‘Smoking kills’
Photo of cigarettes in the shape of a cross.


The Smoke-free Environments Act 1990:

  • regulates smokefree workplaces and public areas
  • regulates the marketing, advertising and promotion of tobacco products
  • monitors and regulates the presence of harmful constituents in tobacco products and tobacco smoke.

The Smoke-free Environments Regulations 2007 regulations set out the labelling requirements for retail packages of cigarettes and other tobacco products, including the requirements for graphic pictorial health warnings.

Photo credits:
1. Kayaking photo by Takver / CC BY-SA 2.0.
2. Cigarette cross photo by André Hengst / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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