Department of Health

Key messages

  • Smoking is banned within 10 metres of all playground equipment in outdoor public places.
  • There is strong community support for this ban and members of the public are expected to voluntarily comply.

By law, smoking is banned within 10 metres (about two car lengths) of all children’s playground equipment in outdoor public places in Victoria.

Children’s playground equipment may include an individual piece of equipment or clusters of equipment, such as climbing frames, swings and slides.

The ban also applies to outdoor drinking areas located within 10 metres of outdoor children’s playground equipment.

The following diagram shows an example of where the ban applies:

No-smoking area at children’s playground equipment

Smoke-free playground equipment - FAQs

  • The smoking ban has two principal aims:

    To protect children and young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke. Outdoor playground equipment attracts families with children and young people. This ban creates a smoke-free environment where children can enjoy themselves without being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke. Second-hand tobacco 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.

  • The ban does not apply to a person:

    • at a residential premises (in privately owned homes or land)
    • in a motor vehicle that is being driven past the children’s playground
    • in an area that is separated from the children’s playground by a road.
  • The introduction of the ban was accompanied by a broad-based public education campaign, including media announcements and newspaper and radio advertising. Signs may also be displayed in smoke-free areas.

  • There is strong community support for banning smoking in public places regularly frequented by children. This means that most people will voluntarily comply with the smoking ban and expect others to do so.

    Inspectors authorised under the Tobacco Act 1987 may also provide information about, and when necessary enforce, the ban and issue a fine. The first goal of the inspectors is to make sure that smokers understand the ban.

    Inspectors may not be available to respond to every complaint but, where circumstances allow, may attend in response.

  • The maximum penalty for someone breaking this law is five penalty units, with an infringement penalty of one penalty unit. The current value of a penalty unit is listed on the Legislation and regulations page.

Reviewed 14 September 2018


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

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