Local councils and other incorporated bodies can apply to have an outdoor area or event declared smoke-free.
The Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 was renamed the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 as of 31 March 2019, when changes to the legislation commenced including new laws for electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products.
What is the purpose of this law
Sections 51 and 52 of the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 allow local councils and other incorporated bodies to identify and apply to have certain outdoor areas or events declared no-smoking. This allows the area or event’s no-smoking status to be enforceable. This also includes the use of e-cigarettes in these areas.
Who can apply
Applications can be made by local councils and other incorporated bodies. Individuals can seek declarations through their local council.
Incorporated bodies include groups that run major events such as festivals, shows and music events.
Smoking zones and declared smoke-free outdoor areas or events
Sometimes it may be impractical to totally prohibit smoking in an area, for example it may be difficult to manage pass-outs at ticketed events. In these instances applicants can specify areas where smoking will be allowed and this will be considered as part of the application.
Applications can be made for short or long-term areas and events.
Before making an application, please contact the Tobacco Control Unit to discuss your proposal.
For short term events the Minister for Health and Wellbeing has the power to declare a smoke-free area. Examples include:
pageants and other community events
Short term applications should be submitted at least eight weeks before the event.
Long term events
Longer-term areas and events are able to be declared smoke-free by Regulation.
Applications need to be submitted at least six months before the required date.
Applications need to include:
The period that the smoke-free areas will apply.
A clear rationale for why the declaration is sought.
A detailed description of the area or event including a map.
Evidence of consultations with stakeholders, including relevant community and industry groups that may be impacted by the event.
Documentation of any other impacts on the area and its surrounding area that may be caused by the declaration and how these will be addressed.
An enforcement plan.
A communication strategy showing how the public will be notified of the smoke-free status of the area or event, including information on signage and enforcement strategies.
An evaluation plan to inform future declarations.
Any person aged 15 years and over found smoking in a declared smoke-free area is guilty of an offence and can be fined up to $750. An expiation fee of $105 can be issued by authorised officers.
Local councils that apply for a smoke-free area are expected to demonstrate that they can enforce the smoke-free area by have having their own authorised officers under the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997.
Other event organisers are unable to apply to have authorised officers. Enforcement of the smoke-free area can be managed by staff and security officers asking patrons not to smoke and removing patrons from the event if they refuse to stop smoking. Staff and security officers cannot issue fines.
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