Smoking ban in national parks

SMOKING will be banned in all New South Wales national parks ahead of this year's bushfire season.

Under new legislation anybody caught smoking in one of the state's 860 national parks will face a fine of $300.

The penalties will roll out from January 1 following a public education campaign.

NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said, in a statement, the government was serious about reducing fire risk and littering across the state.

He said the ban would apply to picnic areas, campgrounds, beaches, lookouts, walking tracks and national parks roads.

"We have 860 national parks in NSW which protect our most beautiful and most popular natural areas," he said.

"We want to make sure they are safe and healthy for everyone."

NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres recently announced the penalty for littering lighted cigarettes had doubled from $330 to $660 and anyone who discards a lit cigarette on a total fire ban day faces a fine of $1320.

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