Key messages

  • Smoking is banned in all outdoor areas situated within the perimeter of a public swimming pool complex.
  • The ban aims to protect children and young people from second-hand smoke and from the negative influences associated with smoking.

By law, smoking is banned within the outdoor areas of all public swimming pool complexes in Victoria.

The ban applies to all outdoor areas that are situated within the perimeter of a swimming pool complex, including outdoor drinking areas.

The following diagram shows an example of where the ban applies.

No-smoking area at a public swimming pool complex

Smoke-free swimming pools - FAQs

  • Why does the smoking ban exist?

    Public swimming pools attract a wide variety of patrons, including many families with young children.

    This ban creates a smoke-free environment where children and young people can enjoy themselves without being exposed to harmful second-hand tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke exposure is particularly dangerous for children because they have smaller airways and less developed immune systems than adults.

    Children and young people are impressionable and are more likely to view smoking as socially acceptable when they regularly see people smoking in different settings. Banning smoking in areas frequented by children and young people will help to ‘de-normalise’ smoking behaviour and discourage them from taking up smoking.

  • How will people know about the smoking ban?

    The introduction of the ban was accompanied by a broad-based public education campaign, including media announcements and newspaper and radio advertising. Signs may also be displayed in smoke-free areas.

  • How will the ban be enforced?

    There is strong community support for banning smoking in public places regularly frequented by children. This means that most people will voluntarily comply with the smoking ban and expect others to do so.

    Inspectors authorised under the Tobacco Act 1987 may provide information about, and when necessary enforce, the ban and issue a fine. The first goal of the inspectors is to make sure that smokers understand the ban.

    Inspectors may not be available to respond to every complaint but, where circumstances allow, may attend in response.

  • Will pool operators or staff be expected to enforce the ban?

    No. Swimming pool staff, managers and operators will not be expected to enforce the ban and are not empowered to do so.

    Compliance with the ban is expected to occur through public education and changed community expectations.

    Consultation undertaken by the Department of Health & Human Services shows strong community support for banning smoking in public places regularly frequented by children. These factors are likely to result in high levels of voluntary compliance with the smoking ban.

    Inspectors authorised under the Tobacco Act 1987 may provide information about, and when necessary enforce, the ban. Inspectors may not be available to respond to every complaint but, where circumstances allow, may attend in response.

    The primary goal of inspectors is to make sure smokers understand that smoking is banned within the outdoor areas of all public swimming pool complexes. Pool operators and staff can help to raise awareness of the ban by providing patrons with promotional resources.

    Swimming pool operators will not be liable if smoking occurs in outdoor areas of their complexes. Smoking is also banned in enclosed areas of public swimming pool complexes under the enclosed workplace smoking provisions of the Tobacco Act 1987.

  • What if a swimming pool complex already has a smoke-free policy?

    If a swimming pool complex has its own smoking ban in place, the statewide ban will act as a minimum standard, with any further requirements put in place by the swimming pool complex applying in addition to the legislative ban.

  • What resources are available to promote the ban?

    Signage: Public swimming pool operators and local councils may choose to install ‘No smoking’ signs in outdoor areas of their complexes. Signs are available to order free of charge through the online order form on the Resources and factsheets page, and electronic versions of the signs can also be downloaded from this page.

    Promotional materials: Public swimming pool operators can request posters, brochures and palm cards to help educate and inform patrons of the new ban. These are available free of charge through the online order form on the Resources and factsheets page, and electronic versions can also be downloaded from this page.

  • What penalties might apply?

    The maximum penalty for someone breaking this law is five penalty units, with an infringement penalty of one penalty unit. The current value of a penalty unit is listed on the Legislation and regulations page.

Contact details

Contact details

  • Tobacco Information Line

    Department of Health & Human Services

    For information about tobacco control in Victoria

    • Telephone Number:1300 136 775