Department of Health

Key messages

  • Smoking is prohibited within four metres of the entrances to all children’s indoor play centres.
  • This smoking ban aims to protect children and young people from second-hand smoke and from seeing adults smoking.
  • Occupiers are required to display an acceptable ‘No smoking’ sign at an entrance.

By law, smoking is banned within four metres of the entrances to all children’s indoor play centres in Victoria.

Indoor play centres are businesses that make the majority of their income by providing indoor play equipment for the use of children under 12 years old, and their parents and carers. Indoor play centres may charge an entrance fee to allow children to access their play equipment for a set period of time, or to hold a child’s birthday party.

The following diagram shows where the smoking ban applies at the entrance to a children’s indoor play centre.

Entrance of children’s indoor play centre

Smoke-free children's centres FAQs

  • The ban has two principal aims:

    To protect children and young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke, ensuring they can enter and leave an indoor play centre without being exposed to harmful tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous for children and young people because they have smaller airways and less developed immune systems than adults.

    To reduce the role-modelling of smoking behaviours around children and young people, who are more likely to view smoking as socially acceptable when they regularly see people smoking. Banning smoking in areas used by children and young people will help to ‘de-normalise’ smoking behaviour and discourage them from taking up smoking.

  • A pedestrian access point refers to a door or gate through which a person can enter or exit the premises. It does not include emergency exits that are locked to entry, but does include shared doors or gates.

    For example, where a building is occupied by a children’s indoor play centre as well as other organisations, such as private businesses, any shared entrances that are used to access both areas of the building will be subject to the smoking ban.

  • The ban does not apply to businesses that provide indoor children’s play equipment incidental to their core business. It also does not apply to indoor centres that provide sporting and recreational activities to teenagers and adults.

    For example, the ban does not apply to a store that provides indoor play equipment to entertain the children of customers, or to an indoor trampolining centre that provides entertainment for children, teenagers and adults.

    The ban also does not apply:

    • to an emergency exit that is locked to entry
    • to a person walking through the smoke-free area
    • to a person in a motor vehicle who is driving or being driven through the smoke-free area
    • to a person in an area that is separated from the smoke-free area by a road
    • to a person in an outdoor drinking area located within the smoke-free area
    • to a person at a residential premises (in privately owned homes or land).
  • Signs are displayed in smoke-free areas.

  • No. Indoor children’s play centre staff, managers and other occupiers are not expected to enforce the ban and are not empowered to do so.

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

    Consultation undertaken by the Department of Health & Human Services shows strong community support for banning smoking in public places, particularly where children are present. It is anticipated that these factors will result in high levels of voluntary compliance with the smoking ban.

  • Signage: Occupiers are required by law to install acceptable ‘No smoking’ signs at entrances (pedestrian access points) to their premises. Signs are available to order free of charge through the online order form on the Resources and factsheets page, and electronic versions can also be downloaded from this page.

    Promotional materials: Posters and factsheets are available to help inform staff, visitors and the general public about the smoking ban at children’s indoor play centres. These can be downloaded or ordered free of charge through the online order form on the Resources and factsheets page.

  • Under the Tobacco Act 1987 an occupier in relation to an area or premises, means:

    • a person who appears to be of or over the age of 16 years and who is or appears to be in control of the area or premises, whether or not the person is present in the area or on the premises; or
    • a body corporate that is or appears to be in control of the area or premises.

Reviewed 08 October 2015


Contact details

Postal Address: Tobacco Control Section, Department of Health & Human Services, GPO Box 4057, Melbourne, VIC 3001

Tobacco Control Section

Contact details

For information about tobacco control in Victoria

Tobacco Information Line Department of Health & Human Services

Was this page helpful?