In 2005, Kiama Municipal Council introduced Smoke Free Zones at all sporting grounds. Since then, playgrounds, public swimming pools including rock pools and alfresco dining areas are now Smoke Free Zones. Anyone inside these Zones is expected to refrain from smoking.
There is substantial evidence linking passive smoking with a range of serious and life threatening health impacts including heart disease, cancer, asthma and other respiratory problems. Children exposed to passive smoking are at an increased risk of asthma, SIDS, acute respiratory infections and ear problems.
Alongside the detrimental health effects caused by passive smoking, cigarette butts present a major issue to the environment and can be hazardous to children. Children need a clean environment and fresh air for good health. Both residents and visitors of the Municipality have the right to an uncontaminated, healthy environment.
Through implementing the Smoke Free Policy, Council aims to:
This Policy recognises that community attitudes towards smoking in public areas have been changing over a period of time. This change is based on mounting evidence showing the harmful effects of passive smoking.
In January 2005, Council was approached by a number of sporting clubs concerned about smoking at Council playing fields. This prompted Council to commence investigation into the issue. Smoke free sporting grounds were also raised as an issue of concern during the consultation conducted as part of the development of the Public Health Plan 2005-2008.
This Policy prohibits:
In addition to the prohibitions identified above, Council have implemented the following strategies:
Self-enforcement will be encouraged through the development of a Memorandum of Understanding with participating sporting clubs using self-enforcement, education and persuasion.
For further information regarding Smoke-Free Sporting Grounds, please download the following resources:
Where the playground is within a sporting ground or facility the following policy applies:
This Policy prohibits:
In addition to the prohibitions identified above, Council will:
Research suggests that the level of tobacco smoke in outdoor areas can reach those similar to indoor venues dependent on wind conditions and the number of smokers. This exposure can pose health risks to children and people with chronic health conditions. Policy in this area would also protect the health of wait person staff that are unable to remove themselves from second hand tobacco smoke exposure and are repeatedly exposed to it through their work.
While business proprietors and their staff are responsible for ensuring that their alfresco dining areas remain smoke free, patrons are encouraged to observe the ban.
For further information regarding smoke free alfresco dining areas, please refer to the National Heart Foundation and Cancer Council’s Smoking bans in Alfresco Dining areas: Attitudes of café and restaurant owners/managers
Council does have the authority to enforce non-compliance of the policy through Section 632 (1) of the NSW Local Government Act 1993, with a penalty of $110.00. Additionally, under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, Council also has the power to enforce a $200.00 fine for the littering of a lit cigarette and a $60.00 fine for an unlit cigarette.
For the Smoke Free Playgrounds Policy to be effective, the community will need to be aware that the policy can be enforced and that Council is committed to providing a smoke free environment for children, residents and visitors. Council encourages residents and visitors to ‘self-enforce’ the Policy and make others aware that these areas are “Smoke Free Zones”.