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April 2015

Poster jpeg

Part of the smoking ban advertising campaign.

People stood near signs outside school jpeg

Ministers Merlino, Hennessy and Mikakos at Richmond Primary School.

Smoking bans at hospitals and schools

New smoking bans have been brought forward by the State Government to protect more Victorians from second-hand smoke.

The bans, established under the Tobacco Amendment Act 2014, were due on June 30 but came into force on Monday, April 13, to coincide with the start of term two.

Smoking is now banned on the grounds of, and within four metres of, an entrance to schools, childcare centres, kindergartens and preschools.

The bans also extend to the entrances to children’s indoor play centres, all public hospitals, registered community health services and many government buildings including Parliament, courts and police stations.

The ban applies to more than 2,200 primary and secondary schools, around 4,200 kindergartens and childcare centres and 149 public hospitals and health services across Victoria.

People caught smoking in these off-limit areas risk on-the-spot fines of $147.

The maximum penalty under the legislation is five penalty units, which is currently $738.

A campaign to remind Victorians about these new smoking bans – including print, radio and online advertising – led up to the implementation.

About 4,000 Victorian lives are lost each year as a result of smoking and it costs about $2.4 billion in direct health costs and lost productivity every year.

‘Too many Victorians still die from smoking,’ said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

‘These bans are a key step in reducing the harm caused by tobacco.

‘Hospitals are where we go to heal.

‘We want to ensure patients and their visitors aren’t subjected to second-hand smoke.’

‘I urge everyone to avoid smoking near school entrances and so respect the rights of our children to enjoy clean air,’ said Minister for Education James Merlino.

‘These bans are a vital step in reducing the normalisation of smoking for our young people.

‘The more they see smoking in public, the more they might think smoking is okay when we all know it’s not.’

‘Young children and babies are especially vulnerable to dangers of second-hand smoke,’ said Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos.

‘We want to make sure the places where our children learn and grow are smoke free.’