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Smoking before or while at work can have a significant negative impact on individuals and the workplace. Employers must ensure that smoking in or around the workplace does not create a risk to their own or anyone else’s health and safety.

No safe level of exposure

Smoking is prohibited by law in all enclosed workplaces and shared work areas such as offices, shops, factories and work vehicles.

While workers who do smoke should not be stigmatised, everyone else at the workplace must be protected from the harmful health effects of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. There is no recognised safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke which can produce symptoms of ill health, particularly for people with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular medical conditions.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) must ensure that this health and safety issue is managed by identifying the hazards, assessing the risks and taking action to eliminate or control them.

Smoke-free workplaces

SA Health’s smoke-free workplace guide (PDF 2.81MB) can be used to help you meet your legal requirements and support the development of a workplace policy using these control measures:

  1. Show commitment and support

    Demonstrate senior management commitment and support to the development of a smoke-free workplace policy.

  2. Consult

    Consult with your workers and their representatives during the development and implementation of the policy.

  3. Develop a policy

    Following consultation, develop a written non-smoking policy and communicate this to your workers. The policy should ban smoking from the workplace including all indoor areas, vehicles and outside areas where smoke could drift inside.

  4. Support the policy

    If possible, establish designated outdoor areas where smoking is allowed. These areas should have plenty of natural ventilation and be placed where smoke can’t drift into smoke-free areas.

  5. Communicate the policy

    Make management, workers, customers and visitors aware of the policy, and use signage so that everyone knows where they can’t smoke (eg in toilets, foyers, stairwells, staff rooms).

  6. Encourage quitting

    Offer encouragement for workers to quit smoking by:

    • placing health and 'Quit' information in key locations, such as staff rooms
    • not selling cigarettes at the workplace
    • inviting 'Quit' program providers to come and talk with workers
    • offering incentives to participate in 'Quit' programs
    • referring smokers to a Quitline counsellor on 137 848.

Workplaces that promote and support workers to quit smoking can benefit from a healthy and happy workforce, and a safe, clean workplace for everyone.

Smoking away from work

Smoking in enclosed public places such as in pubs, clubs, bingo venues and the Adelaide Casino is also prohibited, and new smoke-free outdoor dining laws were introduced in July 2016. Restrictions also apply to smoking in:

  • motor vehicles, if a child is also present
  • certain prescribed public transport areas
  • playgrounds
  • certain public areas such as the Royal Adelaide Show, Rundle Mall and Moseley Square, Glenelg.