How to become a smoke-free recreation or sporting organisation

Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997

The Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 was renamed the Tobacco and E-Cigarette Products Act 1997 as of 31 March 2019 and includes changes to the laws relating to smoking. For more information, go to the Smoking, the rules and regulations page.

A policy guide for sporting and recreation organisations (PDF 2207KB) has been developed in response to an increasing demand from the general public, club members and families who want to enjoy recreation and sporting events without being affected by other people’s smoke.

This guide includes:

  • reasons why you should become smoke-free
  • facts on passive or second hand smoking
  • public attitudes and support for smoke-free areas
  • commonly asked questions
  • how to become a smoke-free venue
  • staff training
  • sample policy for you to use
  • checklists
  • planning for non-compliance

Remember, your policy is not a personal attack on smokers. The issue is not whether people smoke but where they smoke, therefore minimising the effect their smoking has on the health of others.

How to become a smoke-free venue

What is a smoke-free policy?

A smoke-free policy will specify your organisation's position on smoke-free areas.

Your policy must identify:

  • which areas are smoke-free
  • who is responsible for enforcing the policy
  • the penalties for ignoring the policy
  • whether it extends to the use of e-cigarettes.

Where do I start?

  • Assess the current situation
    Does a policy already exist? If so, is it adequate? Is it enforced? Has it been endorsed by management or committees?
  • Get the support of your committee
    Place the topic of a smoke-free policy on the agenda for your next committee meeting.

Before the meeting, provide as much background information as possible to your committee members on passive smoking and its legal implications.

Draft your policy on smoking

Use the sample policy example provided on page 7 in the A policy guide for sporting and recreation organisations (PDF 2207KB)

Obtain committee endorsement of the policy

Submit the draft policy to your committee for approval.

Give members and patrons notice of policy changes as soon as possible

Use newsletters and noticeboards. The timing and manner of the introduction of your policy is crucial and should be clearly stated in policy documents. Don’t forget to notify and provide training for all staff and make sure staff, members and patrons know the starting date. Advance notice will avoid potential resistance to the changes, so it is best to give at least one month’s notice to let people become accustomed to the idea.

Decide what approach to take if someone opposes your policy or continues to smoke in a non-smoking area

Ensure that the policy has clearly stated enforcement procedures that are relatively easy to implement and enforce. Staff need to be trained to deal with these situations appropriately.

Label promotional material

To assist with compliance, consider including information about the smoke-free policy on advertising material, tickets, mail outs, entry forms, promotional flyers, programs etc. When a smoke-free policy is communicated effectively the majority of people are willing to comply.

Display non-smoking signs in prominent positions

Non-smoking stickers and signage are available from SA Health's Health Protection Operations. For downloadable versions, see the Tobacco signage page.

Review the policy

The policy should be reviewed six months after its introduction and then on an annual basis. This will ensure that the policy remains current and practical.

Promote the policy

The policy should be promoted to management, staff, members and patrons. Ensure that management and staff have copies of the policy.

Also remove all butt bins from non-smoking areas.

Further information

For further information on smoke-free venues, contact the Tobacco Control Unit, Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia on:

phone: (08) 7425 5000