Over the past few years a number of new laws controlling tobacco have come into effect in Victoria. The Victorian Tobacco Control Strategy 2008–2013 is a major Victorian Government initiative which will make important advances in the fight against cancer and the epidemic of preventable chronic disease.
Council’s Health Unit offers advice and assistance on all tobacco and smoking related issues and responds to all tobacco related complaints. An annual tobacco test purchasing program is conducted to ensure that tobacco retailers within the municipality are not selling cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 years. Additionally, annual inspections of all tobacco retailers and licensed premises with outdoor dining/drinking areas are accessed for compliance under the Tobacco Act 1987.
State Government Tobacco and Smoking laws include:
- A ban on smoking in cars if a person under 18 years is present.
- A ban on sale of cigarettes at temporary outlets (e.g. horse races).
- A ban on certain fruit flavoured cigarettes.
- A ban on display of tobacco products.
- A ban on smoking at playgrounds, outdoor swimming pools, skate parks and sporting venues
Council’s Smoke Free Outdoors Policy 2013
What is the policy?
From January 1, 2014, all Council operated sites, facilities and outdoor areas within 10 metres of an entrance to Council operated buildings are smoke free.
This new Council policy is one of number of measures to be introduced by Council and the State Government to reduce the exposure to second-hand smoke, help de-normalise smoking and encourage smokers to consider quitting.
In addition to WCC workplaces and facilities, Warrnambool’s sporting facilities, playgrounds, pool and skate parks are also now smoke free.
Why has Council introduced this policy?
Smoking tobacco is the main cause of preventable death in our community. Of the 45 avoidable deaths in Warrnambool in 2008, 7 out of 10 were attributed to smoking related illnesses. As a percentage, smoking related deaths in Warrnambool are higher than the state average (13.1 per cent of deaths, compared to 11.9 per cent)
The Warrnambool Health and Wellbeing Profile shows smoking rates for both men and women are higher than the state average. A key priority of the Warrnambool Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-17 is to address the prevalence of smoking and tobacco-related illness.
Council cares about the health of staff and people who visit our facilities. Evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to second hand smoke and so creating safe, smoke-free environments in and around Council facilities is an obvious way to reduce the health risk.
What does this mean?
All Council operated facilities and venues, and within 10 metres of all WCC building entrances, are now smoke free.
Smoke free areas include:
- The whole Civic Precinct including public footpaths in front of and behind the Civic Centre, Old Post Office (West Wing) and Lighthouse Theatre*.
- Flagstaff Hill/Visitor Information Centre precinct (including the Village) and within 10 metres of building entrances.
- The Depot and Saleyard sites*.
- Within 10 metres of all entrances at WAG, ARC Stadium, Springers Gymnastics Centre, buildings at Surfside and Shipwreck Caravan Parks (including the park offices, kiosks, camp kitchens and amenity blocks).
- Areas within the site boundary, and within 10 metres of the entrances of community centres, kindergartens, childcare centres and Aquazone.
- All playgrounds, skateparks, and sporting facilities ( ie ovals and playing fields)
* Designated smoking areas, away from building entrances and public view, are provided at some facilities.