Smoking laws and businesses

All Northern Territory businesses must follow smoking laws.

Smoking is not permitted in any of the following:

  • enclosed workplace areas
  • enclosed public areas such as pubs, clubs and casinos
  • outdoor eating and drinking areas (excluding licensed premises).

Smoking laws and liquor licensed premises

The licensee of a liquor licensed premises may allow smoking in outdoor areas.

This can only be done if strict conditions are met.

Read regulation 15B of the Tobacco Control Regulations 2002 to understand what is required.

These conditions also state that:

  • no more than 50% of a licensed premises outdoor eating and drinking areas may be used as designated smoking areas, and
  • the licensee of the premises must develop and maintain a smoking management plan DOCX (230.1 KB).

If you have any questions about developing and maintaining a smoking management plan, call 08 8999 1800 or email

Apply for an outdoor smoking areas certificate

If you are a new liquor licensee, you can apply for a compliance certificate to operate a smoking area on your premises, but it is not mandatory.

If you have any questions about the requirement of an outdoor smoking areas certificate, call 08 8999 1800 or email

How to apply

To apply for a certificate, follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in an outdoor smoking areas certificate form.

Application for an outdoor smoking areas certificate form PDF (68.9 KB)
Application for an outdoor smoking areas certificate form DOCX (64.6 KB)

Step 2. Submit this form and the prescribed fee at your nearest Territory Business Centre.

Approved providers

Name and business Contact
Bill Dickinson
P: 08 8981 9177
Helen Makris
NBC Aboriginal Corporation
P: 08 8269 5588
Michael Sadubin
Innersphere Pty Ltd
P: 02 9959 5656
Andrew Swenson
Architect in4D
P: 08 8947 0530

Cigarette vending machines

On 1 July 2019, changes were made to the Tobacco Control Act 2002 including the regulation of cigarette vending machines.

Cigarette vending machines are not permitted in areas of a liquor licensed premises where a child (someone under the age of 18) or children supervised by a parent, guardian or spouse, can enter or spend time there.

Tobacco vending machines must only be located in a designated child-free area.

Licensees face a fine of up to 100 penalty units for breaking the law.

Create a smoke free policy for your business

A smoke free policy is a set of rules regarding smoking restrictions on business premises. These rules apply to clients, visitors and staff.

Who can develop and implement a smoke free policy

Any business can develop a smoke free policy to prevent smoking in its buildings, outdoor areas and car parks.

Why consider a smoke free policy

If you allow smoking in your workplace, you could face legal action from employees who suffer ill health as a result of passive smoking.

How smoke free policies affect smokers

Smokers must leave the smoke free premises or go to an approved designated smoking area before they may smoke.

How to enforce a smoke free policy

You may declare all or part of your premises a smoke free area.

Smoke free area plan

You must prepare and keep on premises a smoke free area plan to be able to enforce a smoke free policy.

This plan must:

  • identify the smoke free area
  • describe staff training and instruction that will be provided to staff to ensure they comply with the plan.


You must display signs that clearly identify smoking and non-smoking areas on your premises.

For information about smoking legislation and smoke free resources, contact the tobacco compliance and liaison officer by:

More information

To read more about changes to the Act and smoke-free initiatives, go to the Department of Health website.

Last updated: 12 May 2022

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