VicHealth has welcomed new smokefree measures across the state, which come into effect 1 April 2014.
Under the updated Tobacco Act 1987, smoking is now prohibited within 10 metres of outdoor public children’s playground equipment, skate parks and sporting venues during organised underage sporting events, as well as the outdoor areas at public swimming pools.
The smoking bans aim to provide children and young people with a healthy, smoke-free environment in areas where they play, to limit exposure to passive smoke and to shield children from viewing smoking as a normal activity.
“Smokefree areas are about more than protecting people from passive smoke. They are also about role modelling what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour in the eyes of children. The more children we can discourage from taking up smoking, the more lives we will save in the future.”
Since the Tobacco Act was introduced to Victoria in 1987, smoking rates have dropped to 13.3 per cent, however, every year, smoking causes 4000 preventable deaths in Victoria.
This bill amended the Tobacco Act 1987 to prohibit smoking in public outdoor areas that children and young people commonly use for recreational and sporting activity.
Smoking will be banned:
- at outdoor children’s playground equipment
- at outdoor skate parks
- at outdoor areas within the perimeter of public swimming pools
- at outdoor sporting venues during under-age sporting events.
“Smoke free areas have multiple benefits for the community. They ensure clean air can be enjoyed by everyone, they discourage smoking as a normal public activity and also help people who have quit smoking to stay on track.
“These are all places where families and children gather, so it is important to keep them smoke free. Protecting children from smoking is an initiative that has strong support from the general Victorian community and from VicHealth and we congratulate the State Government for these initiatives.”
Going smokefree outdoors - a guide for sporting clubs