Quit and Cancer Council welcome new smokefree areas

Monday 23 March, 2015

New smoking bans will come into effect almost a month earlier than earlier than expected on Monday 13th April to coincide with the start of Term 2 in Victoria.

Quit and the Cancer Council have welcomed the announcement that the Victorian Government is bringing forward the bans on smoking on the grounds of, and within four metres of an entrance to, hospitals and community health services, schools, childcare centres, kindergartens and preschools, and many government buildings.

Director of Quit Victoria, Dr Sarah White, said the extension of outdoor smoking bans would send a clear message to community that the Government is putting health first.

"By extending smokefree outdoor areas we are limiting the exposure of people to smoking, and making it seem less normal. This is an important way of making smoking less attractive, particularly to young people."

"This policy will be incredibly popular in the community, as people now have an expectation that they can enjoy everyday activities without exposure to second-hand smoke."

Dr White said making outdoor drinking and dining areas smoke free would be the logical next step for Government to consider.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Mr Todd Harper, said smokefree areas represented an important part of any strategy to reduce impacts of smoking.

"Reducing the harms of smoking requires a comprehensive approach and increasing smokefree areas is a key element of that."

"Smokefree areas - combined with plain packaging of tobacco products, increased price of cigarettes, sustained public education campaigns and limiting availability of tobacco - form a critical part of the jigsaw puzzle in our ongoing efforts to reduce the devastating consequences of smoking," said Mr Harper.