HARSHER laws in force in NSW have banned smokers from lighting up at Blacktown sporting fields, swimming pools and outside public buildings.
The sweeping changes also outlaw smoking near playgrounds — although they were already covered by Blacktown Council's smoke-free policy.
Despite the tightening of the state rules, critics say more could be done to protect the community from tobacco smoke.
Riverstone MP Kevin Conolly said the state was leading the way in reducing community exposure to passive smoke.
"Choosing to stop smoking is a difficult step but these regulations will remove the risk of passive smoke to non-smokers and while some will be inconvenienced [the laws] will have overwhelming benefits to the community," Mr Conolly said.
About 44,000 people are hospitalised and 5200 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses.
Former Blacktown councillor and Cancer Council regional chairwoman Kathie Collins said she thought the new laws were "fantastic".
Ms Collins said as a councillor she tried to extend the smoke-free policy to include more than just playgrounds.
"But this is a much better way to do it — to have laws that go throughout the state is much better for the community," Ms Collins said.
She said the laws could deter children from taking up the habit by making it anti-social.
Further legislation to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas and gaming areas has been postponed until July 2015.
But the Asthma Foundation's Michele Goldman says there is still some way to go before the public can truly enjoy a smoke-free lifestyle.
"Councils have the power to offer various incentives to cafes and restaurant owners to go smoke-free before 2015," Ms Goldman said.
She said another two years was too long for diners to wait for smoke-free outdoor dining and councils should promote the commercial and social benefits of going smoke-free sooner.