New Victorian laws ban smoking where children play

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From 1 April 2014, smoking is banned at outdoor areas where children are playing, swimming or participating in sport. This creates healthier, smoke-free environments where children and young people can enjoy themselves without being exposed to harmful second-hand tobacco smoke. The bans also aim to make smoking less visible and so less socially acceptable to children and young people.

Ban on smoking at outdoor children’s playground equipment

Smoking is banned within ten metres (about two car lengths) of all children’s playground equipment in outdoor public places. Children’s playground equipment includes an individual piece of equipment as well as clusters of playground equipment, such as climbing frames, swings and slides. The ban also applies to outdoor dining and drinking areas within ten metres of outdoor children’s playground equipment.

Ban on smoking at outdoor skate parks

Smoking is banned within ten metres of all skate parks in outdoor public places. Skate parks are areas specifically designed and equipped with structures for rollerblading, rollerskating and skateboarding or the use of BMX or non-motorised scooters. The ban also applies to outdoor dining and drinking areas within ten metres of an outdoor skate park.

Ban on smoking during organised underage sporting events

Smoking is banned within ten metres of an outdoor sporting venue during an organised underage sporting event. This includes training or practice sessions to prepare for an organised underage sporting event, and breaks or intervals during the course of the event, training or practice session. The ban also applies to outdoor dining and drinking areas within ten metres of an outdoor public sporting venue during these times. A ‘sporting venue’ includes:

  • a playing field, track or arena
  • a court or rink
  • any permanently or temporarily erected public seating
  • any seating, marshalling area, warm-up area, podium
  • any other part of the venue reserved for the use of competitors or officials.

An organised underage sporting event’ is planned in advance and conducted according to established rules.

Ban on smoking at public swimming pools

Smoking is banned within the outdoor areas of all public swimming pool complexes, including outdoor dining and drinking areas.

Where the bans do not apply

The bans do not apply to a person at residential premises, in a vehicle being driven through the smoke-free area, or in an area separated from the venue by a road.

The bans do not apply at an outdoor sporting venue when no under 18s event is underway. However, sporting clubs may have their own smoking bans in place that cover other times.

Please support the new bans and respect everyone’s right to enjoy fresh air by not smoking at playgrounds, skate parks, children’s sporting events and public swimming pools. Authorised council inspectors may issue a fine, when necessary. For more information on the statewide smoking bans where children play, visit: www.health.vic.gov.au/tobaccoreforms