There is a lot of public support for smokefree outdoor areas, especially in areas where children are commonly present. Protecting the health of the public, particularly children, has also been a significant factor driving the introduction of smoking bans in a variety of public places.
In Victoria, the following public outdoor areas are now smokefree:
- within 10 metres of children’s playgrounds, skate parks and underage sporting events
- patrolled beaches in the area between the red and yellow flags, and within a 50 metre radius of the red and yellow flags
- outdoor areas of public swimming pool complexes
- all areas of train stations, on raised platform tram stops (‘super stops’) and at undercover tram and bus stops
- underage music/dance events.
For more information, visit the Department of Health Tobacco Reforms website.
Smoking bans in outdoor drinking and dining areas
On 13 October 2016 the Victorian Parliament passed the Tobacco Amendment Act 2016. The Act contains new laws which include a ban on smoking in all outdoor dining areas where food (other than pre-packaged food or uncut fruit) is provided on a commercial basis. The laws also ban smoking at certain food fairs and organised outdoor events.
The ban applies across Victoria from 1 August 2017.
Unfortunately, the ban does not extend to outdoor drinking areas. Quit Victoria believes this is a serious concern for a number of reasons. In particular, the new laws will not adequately protect hospitality workers from exposure to secondhand smoke, and may create difficulties with enforcement.
Quit Victoria intends to continue to advocate for the introduction of comprehensive smokefree laws in both outdoor drinking and outdoor dining areas.
For further information about Victoria's smokefree dining laws, see the Victorian Department of Health website on Tobacco Reforms.
In the absence of state-wide legislation, local councils have the power to legislate in their own jurisdictions including banning smoking in outdoor drinking areas.
For more information on smoking bans in outdoor dining and drinking areas, see Quit Victoria’s position statement: Smoking bans in outdoor dining and drinking areas.