More than 95% of Victorians believe smoking should not be allowed on primary or secondary school grounds, according to new data released today.
The data, from The Cancer Council Victoria, also shows that two thirds of Victorian adults (66%) believe smoking should not be allowed at outdoor places where children are present (e.g. parks and playgrounds).
Executive Director of Quit Victoria, Ms Fiona Sharkie, said the figures highlight that actions designed to prevent young people from taking up smoking and protect them from exposure to second-hand smoke would be welcome by the Victorian community.
"This data sends a clear message to the Victorian Government that the public thinks it's time to put kids before cigarettes, and there are some straight-forward things that can be done immediately to help protect kids from tobacco including making school grounds smokefree."
"There is a legislative ban on smoking at underage music and dance events in Victoria, so it seems logical to extend this to school grounds where young people spend a substantial amount of time."
"It is interesting that adult environments like bars and clubs have been made smokefree, yet school grounds are not subject to similar laws."
"Smokefree schools are important because they protect students from second-hand smoke and also prevent them from being influenced by seeing others smoke."
Ms Sharkie said a ban on smoking in school grounds is amongst a raft of proposals currently being cosidered by the Government as part of a new Victorian Tobacco Control Strategy, as well as a complete ban on tobacco displays in shops.
"Getting cigarettes completely out of sight in shops is a ‘must-do' if the State Government is serious about addressing issues around young people and smoking."
"To dismantle the idea that cigarette smoking is normal behaviour, and reduce the rate of young people taking up smoking, cigarettes must be completely out of sight in shops."
"Allowing the tobacco industry to display cigarette packs in shops, in any shape or form, is basically giving the green-light to tobacco promotion," said Ms Sharkie
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