Smoke Free Environments

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Smoke Free Zones

Kiama Council smoke free zone signBetween 2005 and 2009, Kiama Municipal Council introduced Smoke Free Zones at all sporting grounds, playgrounds, public swimming pools including rock pools and alfresco dining areas in the Town Centre.

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.  We all 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 aimed to:

  • improve the health of community members, especially children
  • raise community awareness of the negative health outcomes associated with smoking
  • contribute to protecting the environment by reducing pollution generated from smoking and cigarette butt littering.

These policies recognised 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.

Kiama Council have committed to implement the following strategies:

  • erect and maintain suitable signage to prohibit smoking within areas deemed necessary and appropriate according to the details outlined above
  • implement educational programs to support the Policy and to promote community awareness and acceptance.  This now extends to the new NSW Laws
  • encourage the community using Council facilities to become actively involved with the program, assisting Council in the promotion and self-enforcement of its Policy and the new Laws
  • adopt a policy of persuasion rather than enforcement in regards to applying the prohibitions
  • provide designated areas where smoking is allowed outside of the 'Smoke Free Zones' and provide bins for the appropriate disposal of cigarette butts.

No smoking sign

New changes to the law on smoke-free outdoor areas

The Tobacco Legislation Amendment Act 2012 amends the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 and bans smoking in the following outdoor public places from 7 January 2013:

Information about

From 6 July 2015, smoking will be banned in commercial outdoor dining areas, being:

A seated dining area - an area in which seating is provided and in which food that has been purchased and served on plates or packaged for immediate consumption is consumed - but only while food is being consumed or is available for purchase and consumption there,

  1. Within 4 metres of a seated dining area on licensed premises or at a restaurant, or
  2. Within 10 metres of where food is sold or supplied for consumption at a food fair.

A range of fact sheets explaining the new laws are now available:

Regulation and enforcement

NSW Health is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000.  NSW Health Inspectors are authorised to enforce the ban.  Penalties of up to $550 apply to individuals who smoke in spectator areas at public sports grounds or other recreational areas during organised sporting events.

Like many NSW Councils, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993, Kiama Council introduced smoke bans at sporting grounds, playgrounds, rock pools and in alfresco areas in the Town Centre.  These can continue to be enforced by Council Rangers.  For both Council's Policy and the NSW Legislation to be effective, Council encourages residents and visitors to 'self-enforce 'the Policy and Laws making others aware that these areas are 'Smoke Free Zones'.

Further information

Smoke-Free Councils - Smoke-Free Outdoor Areas: A Resource Kit for Local Government

Cancer Action- Smoke-Free Outdoor Areas: People's Right NOT to Smoke!

Cancer Council - Outdoor Smoking: A Background Paper

Heart Foundation- Smoke-Free Policy in Outdoor Areas: A 2011 Survey of NSW Councils