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Williamstown beaches and playgrounds to go smokefree

Thursday 19 May, 2011

Quit and the Heart Foundation (Victoria) have welcomed news that Hobsons Bay Council will ban smoking on its beaches and playgrounds.

The ban, which will include popular beaches such as Williamstown and Altona, follows research from the Cancer Council Victoria showing:

  • the majority of Victorians (63%) believe smoking shouldn't be allowed on beaches,
  • while over three-quarters (77%) of Victorians believe smoking shouldn't be allowed in outdoor areas where children are present.

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said the policy was a great move.

"It's fantastic that Hobsons Bay Council is listening to what its community wants and is taking action to address the toll that smoking takes on its community."

"Smoke-free outdoor areas de-normalise smoking for young people, so they're less likely to take up smoking, while also helping smokers wanting to quit reach that goal."

Heart Foundation (Victoria) CEO Kathy Bell said that momentum was building for more councils to move in this direction.

"In addition to Hobsons Bay Council, Yarra and Baw Baw Shire Councils are taking steps to introduce smoke-free outdoor areas, and it's only a matter of time before other councils do the same. The majority of Victorians want to see these types of policies in place."

Yarra Council is currently looking at implementing various outdoor smoke-free areas including in playgrounds and alfresco dining areas, as is Baw Baw Shire council in Gippsland.

Councils that already have outdoor smoke-free policies in place in Victoria include Monash, Moonee Valley, Manningham and Moreland City Councils in children's playgrounds and the City of Port Phillip and Surf Coast Shire on beaches. Frankston City Council also has a smoke-free outdoor mall in its city centre.