Under Victoria’s Tobacco Act 1987, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed workplaces and certain public spaces where members of the public gather and may be exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke.
Smoke-free outdoor dining areas
On 21 May 2016, the Minister for Health announced that the Tobacco Amendment Bill 2016 would be introduced into the Victorian Parliament in the week commencing 23 May 2016.
The Bill will amend the Tobacco Act 1987 to ban smoking at all outdoor dining areas when meals are available for consumption. This will include:
- premises such as restaurants, cafés, take-away shops and licenced premises, including courtyard dining areas and footpath dining
- food fairs
- other organised outdoor events, including community or street festivals.
There is strong community support for this reform, with over 73 per cent of Victorians supporting the introduction of a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.
This reform will commence on 1 August 2017.
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- protect the community from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke
- make smoking in the community less acceptable - the less people see smoking in public places the less they will tend to think it is okay, rather than harmful
- support people who have quit or are trying to quit smoking.
The latest amendments to the Tobacco Act have extended the areas where smoking is banned across Victoria. These smoke-free areas now include:
- entrances to indoor children’s play centres, public hospitals and registered community health centres, and certain Victorian Government buildings
- the grounds of, and entrances to, childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools and primary and secondary schools
- outdoor recreational areas, including playground equipment, skate parks and sporting venues during under-age sporting events
- outdoor areas of public swimming pools
- patrolled beaches
- enclosed workplaces
- train stations, tram-stop platforms and tram and bus shelters
- under-age music or dance events.