Tighter Bans on Outdoor Smoking Are Coming

Published on 19 June 2017

Media Release

Council is notifying local businesses and the community about changes to the Tobacco Act that ban smoking in all commercial outdoor dining areas in Victoria from 1 August 2017.

Last year, the Victorian Government passed the Tobacco Amendment Act 2016 which will amend the Tobacco Act 1987 to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas and regulate e-cigarettes and shisha tobacco in the same way as other tobacco products.

The tobacco reform means that from 1 August 2017 smoking will be banned in outdoor areas at hospitality and food venues used for eating food. This includes footpath dining areas, courtyards and beer gardens during times food is being eaten, or is available to be eaten.

The tobacco reform also bans smoking outdoors at food fairs and festival events where the principal activity is the supply of food, while restricting smoking within 10 metres of a food stall or food vendor at organised outdoor events other than a food fair.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Councillor Joe Gauci acknowledged that this reform will affect outdoor dining for local businesses and residents.

“As a Council we have a duty to protect the health of our residents, visitors and business operators, together with supporting the Victorian Governments tobacco reform to increase outdoor smoking bans”, said the Mayor.

“The new bans will provide our community with more smoke-free environments when dining out at local townships and events, which is a real win on a local level. In addition, the new bans will help limit exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, de-normalise smoking behaviours and support people who have quit or are trying to quit smoking.

“In the past we have trialled smoke-free areas across the Shire which received strong community support, and we welcome the tobacco reforms from the Victorian Government.

“Council and Victorian Government Environmental Health Officers will soon be doing the rounds visiting businesses that will be affected by these tobacco legislation reforms providing information packs and signage to assist business owners with the transition.

“We encourage local businesses and residents to visit the Department of Health and Human Services website to find out more about the changes to smoking laws, and be prepared ahead of the 1 August 2017 start date.”

Businesses and residents that will be affected by the tobacco reform can download information guides, signage, fact sheets and additional information resources at the Department of Health and Human Services website or call the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775.