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Table 1 Timeline of NSW government responses to secondhand smoke (SHS)

From: Political dynamics promoting the incremental regulation of secondhand smoke: a case study of New South Wales, Australia

Year Actions Notes
1970s Smoking banned on NSW buses and suburban trains, and in cinemas, theatres and public halls. Smoking banned for comfort reasons.
1983 NSW Occupational Safety and Health Act 1983 Law obligates all employers to ensure that their employees are not exposed to health or safety risks at work. Smoking not specified in Act.
  First NSW Parliamentary motion to ban smoking in workplaces and public places introduced as a private members' bill. Parliament adjourned without addressing the motion.
1992 Smoking banned on NSW intercity trains Smoking banned for comfort reasons.
  Scholem vs NSW Department of Health decided NSW court handed down the world's first jury verdict on an employer's negligence in regard to passive smoking.
1993 Occupational Health and Safety (Smoke-Free Indoor Air) Amendment Bill proposed as a private members' bill The Bill sought to amend the 1983 Occupational Health and Safety Act to include explicit statements to ban smoking in all indoor workplaces, including bars and restaurants, and included a 12 month phase-in period. The AHA lobbied extensively against the bill and it was not supported by government.
  NSW Parliament House Smoke-Free Environment Act passed The Act banned smoking in the NSW Parliament House, but was ignored by some Members of Parliament.
1995 NSW Passenger Transport Act 1995 Amendments prohibited smoking on buses, ferries, taxis, and some private hire vehicles.
1997 NSW Passive Smoking Taskforce recommendations released Taskforce convened by the NSW government consisted of NSW Department of Health bureaucrats, health advocacy groups, academics, and hospitality association representatives from restaurants, clubs and hotels.
The taskforce recommended that the government ban smoking in all public places, including restaurants, bars and clubs. The only dissenting member was the AHA.
  NSW Smoking Regulation Act 1997 passed The Act banned smoking in public places, but was virtually ineffective because bans were not to be implemented until five years after the Department of Health had established ventilation air quality standards.
1999 NSW Rail Safety Regulation 1999 Smoking banned on any NSW train or covered train platform.
2000 NSW Smokefree Environment Act 2000 passed The Act banned smoking in enclosed public spaces, including restaurants and the dining areas of pubs and clubs. Although the original Bill included bars and clubs, these venues were exempt from the final act.
When passed, the NSW Smokefree Environment Act was the most comprehensive SHS state law in Australia.
2001 Sharp v Port Kembla Hotel & RSL Club law suit verdict A non-smoking bar attendant who developed throat cancer after 11 years of employment at a club was awarded $500,000 damages
2003 "Share the Air" voluntary agreement brokered with NSW club, pubs and hotels and NSW government A Government and industry working group agreed that pubs and clubs will provide at least one smokefree bar and a 1.5 m no-smoking zone around bar areas. The NSW government promises to introduce formal legislation within a year.
2004 NSW Smokefree Environment Amendment Act 2004 passed All enclosed areas of hotels, clubs and nightclubs that are open to the general public must be completely non-smoking by July 2007, as well as all areas of the Sydney casino, with the exception of private gaming rooms.
2005 First phase of NSW Smokefree Environment Amendment Act 2004 came into effect January 3, 2005 This phase replaced and formally legislated the voluntary "Share the Air" agreement.
If a venue has:
• More than one bar, then one bar should be non-smoking.
• More than one of the same type of gambling area, then one of these should be non-smoking.
• More than one recreational room that offers the same game or activity as another, then one of these should be non-smoking.
Smoking is banned in all dining areas and at all counter and bar service areas.
  Second phase of NSW Smokefree Environment Amendment Act 2004 came into effect July 4, 2005 In a multi-room venue smoking allowed in a maximum of one room. The smoking room must not exceed 25% of the total combined area of the venue.
If a venue consists of a single room, then smoking permitted in up to 25% of that area.
2006 NSW Smokefree Environment Amendment Act 2006 passed The government amended the 2004 Act to adopt a definition of an "enclosed space" that will allow smoking in areas that are up to 75% enclosed in hotels, clubs and nightclubs. The Act is to be implemented in July 2007.