Information about New Zealand’s Smokefree Environments Act and what you can do if you think it is being breached.

New Zealand’s Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 is one of the most comprehensive pieces of tobacco control legislation in the world: 

  • Requiring smokefree indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
  • Limiting tobacco advertising and promotion and the sponsorship of events or activities by anyone who manufactures or sells tobacco.
  • Restricting the sale or supply of tobacco products to those over 18-years-of-age.
  • Not allowing the sale of single cigarettes and packs of fewer than 20 cigarettes.
  • Requiring the buildings and grounds of schools and early childhood centres to be smokefree.

There must also be regular increases in tobacco tax. Increasing the price of cigarettes and tobacco is an extremely effective way of getting people to stop smoking, or to smoke less.

Under the Smoke-free Environments Act, tobacco packs must have graphic health warnings. Current health warnings include pictures of rotting teeth, feet with gangrene, and the brain of someone who has had a stroke.

Making a complaint

You can contact the smokefree officers at your district health board to make a complaint if you see:

  • Someone smoking in an area that should be smokefree.
  • Tobacco promotion or advertising.
  • Something else you think breaches the Smoke-free Environments Act.

Find out more

There is more information about the smokefree legislation on the Ministry of Health website.

Page last updated: 22 May 2017