Hobsons Bay Council has become the third council in Victoria, after Surf Coast and Port Phillip, to introduce a smoking ban on its beaches. It's also become the fifth council to make playgrounds smokefree zones.
Quit believes these policies are a good step in de-normalising smoking - that is, making smoking less common in public places, especially those where families and kids gather.
The whole idea of this comes from research showing the more kids see people smoking, the more likely they are to see it as ‘normal' and the more likely they are to take it up.
Smoke-free areas also help people quitting smoking. A big trigger for quitters can be when they see other people lighting up around them. Smoke-free outdoor areas can help quitters stay strong and quit for good.
Additionally, we know most people want to see bans like these in place:
Cancer Council Victoria research shows 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.
Other councils who are currently looking at smoke-free outdoor areas are Yarra and Baw Baw Councils. 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.