01 Apr, 2014 Last updated: 16 Nov, 2014

Smoking is now prohibited within 10 metres of outdoor public children’s playground equipment, skate parks and sporting venues during organised underage sporting events, as well as the outdoor areas at public swimming pools.

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VicHealth has welcomed new smokefree measures across the state, which come into effect today (1 April).

Under the updated Tobacco Act 1987, smoking is now prohibited within 10 metres of outdoor public children’s playground equipment, skate parks and sporting venues during organised underage sporting events, as well as the outdoor areas at public swimming pools.

The smoking bans aim to provide children and young people with a healthy, smoke-free environment in areas where they play, to limit exposure to passive smoke and to shield children from viewing smoking as a normal activity.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter congratulated the State Government for taking further steps to protect children’s health.

“We believe this is a wise course of action for a healthier future for Victorian children. It also has the secondary benefit of supporting adults who have quit to remain on the path to good health,” Ms Rechter said.

“Smokefree areas are about more than protecting people from passive smoke. They are also about role modelling what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour in the eyes of children. The more children we can discourage from taking up smoking, the more lives we will save in the future.”

Since the Tobacco Act was introduced to Victoria in 1987, smoking rates have dropped to 13.3 per cent, however, every year, smoking causes 4000 preventable deaths in Victoria.

VicHealth supports smokefree initiatives as part of a raft of measures to reduce tobacco uptake and consumption across the board, including price, branding and visibility of cigarettes.

Media contact: VicHealth Senior Media Advisor Jane Gardner on 03 9667 1319 / 0435 761 732