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Our history


VicHealth is the world’s first health promotion foundation. We were established by the Victorian Parliament as part of the Tobacco Act of 1987.

This Act set the standard for international best practice by banning outdoor tobacco advertising and using cigarette taxes to fund anti-smoking campaigns and buy out the tobacco sponsorship of sport and the arts.

The impact on smoking has been dramatic. Sponsorship has gone from sports and arts events; tobacco advertising cannot be found in media or sporting fields, most workplaces and public spaces are smokefree, the legal age to purchase tobacco has increased to 18 years, the number of adult smokers has almost halved, and branding has been removed from tobacco product.

The fact that it was such a good idea is emphasised by the continuing work of VicHealth and by the establishment of health promotion foundations in other Australian states, as well as countries such as Thailand, Switzerland, Austria, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Our 30 years of VicHealth publication provides an overview of VicHealth from its inception in 1987 to the present day.

For more information on how VicHealth was funded visit our What we do page.


VicHealth celebrates 30 years

Our inaugural leaders at VicHealth’s inception take us on a journey back to 1987 and inspire us on our and our partners’ continuing role to promote health.



VicHealth 25th Anniversary

We take a brief glance at our achievements and the unique role it has played since 1987, recognising that the job of promoting good health and preventing chronic disease isn't done yet.

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022

VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.

This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.


Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more