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 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 percent 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 (230.4 KB).

Cigarette vending machines

From 1 July 2019, changes will be made to the Tobacco Control Act including the regulation of cigarette vending machines.

The changes prohibit tobacco vending machines in areas of a licensed premises where a child (someone under the age of 18) can spend time in.

Smoke free policies

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, call the Smoke Free Hotline (freecall) on 1800 888 564.

Last updated: 18 February 2021

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