Tobacco

 

Report an Incident

The Environmental Health Unit offers advice and assistance on tobacco related issues. If you encounter a tobacco related issue please report this to City of Ballarat’s Environmental Health Unit on (03) 5320 5702 or alternatively contact the Department of Health Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775.


Local Governments are responsible for education and enforcement of a number of tobacco related activities, including the implementation of the annual sales to minors tobacco test purchasing program.

Whilst Local government play a big part in the operational education and enforcement of tobacco requirements a number of different government agencies are involved in various aspects of tobacco control in Victoria.


Tobacco Act UpdatesTop of document.

Ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas and regulation of e-cigarettes and shisha tobacco

On the 1st of August 2017 the Tobacco Amendment Act 2016 will amend the Tobacco Act 1987 to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas and regulate e-cigarettes and shisha tobacco in the same way as other tobacco products. 

Smoking will be banned:

  • In outdoor dining areas where food is consumed, including footpath dining, balconies and courtyards during times when food is being eaten or available to be eaten
  • In all outdoor areas at food fairs
  • Within 10 metres of a food stall or food vendor at organised outdoor events (other than food fairs)

Furthermore, smoking is permitted in outdoor drinking areas where certain conditions are met including a separation from outdoor dining areas by either:

  • A 4 metre buffer zone; or
  • A wall at least 2.1 metres high.

 

E-cigarettes & Shisha tobacco

E-cigarettes will be regulated in same way as tobacco products. This means that e-cigarettes cannot be used in areas where smoking is banned, cannot be displayed at retailer outlets and cannot be sold to persons under the age of 18 years of age. An e-cigarette supplement is available for all retailers to understand and comply with the laws. 

Shisha tobacco is usually a combination of tobacco fermented in molasses and flavoured with fruit flavours. Under the Shisha tobacco reforms, advertising and use of shisha tobacco that contains any amount of tobacco will be treated as other tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars. 

For further information on the new changes, resources and factsheets can be found at the Department of Health & Human Services - Tobacco website.


Information for Consumers & BusinessesTop of document.

Licensed Premises

All enclosed licensed premises must be smoke free.

Acceptable no smoking signs must be displayed in locations where customers are likely to see one or more signs upon entering the premises, or from within the premises.

Smoking is also prohibited in outdoor dining or drinking areas if the area has a roof in place and the total actual area of wall surface exceeds 75% of the total notional wall area.

For further information on licensed premises or outdoor dining or drinking areas please refer to the Department of Health & Human Services website Licensed premises or Outdoor dining or drinking or contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775.

Smoke Free Dining

Smoking has been banned in all enclosed restaurants, cafes and takeaway premises and all dining areas of hotels and clubs since 1st July 2001.

From 1st of August 2017 smoking will also be banned in:

  • Outdoor dining areas where food is consumed, including footpath dining, balconies and courtyards during times when food is being eaten or available to be eaten
  • All outdoor areas at food fairs
  • Within 10 metres of a food stall or food vendor at organised outdoor events (other than food fairs)

Acceptable no smoking signs must be displayed in locations where customers are likely to see one or more signs upon entering the premises, or from within the premises.

Children's Recreational Areas

In 2014, smoking was banned in areas commonly used by children and young people for recreational and sporting activities. These include:

  • at or within 10 metres of children's playground equipment that is an outdoor public place
  • at or within 10 metres of a skate park that is an outdoor public place
  • at or within 10 metres of a sporting venue that is an outdoor public place during an organised underage sporting event, including training or practice sessions and during breaks or intervals in play
  • in an outdoor area of a swinning pool complex that is a public place.

For further information on the new outdoor smoking bans please refer to the Department of Health website Tobacco Reforms and Smoke-Free Children's Recreational Areas or contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775.

Smoke Free Workplaces

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed workplaces for employed and volunteer staff.

An enclosed workplace means an area or room that is substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether they are permanent or temporary, open or closed.

There are some exemptions to this law, including vehicles, sole occupancy workplaces and residential premises.

For further information on smoke free workplaces please refer to the Department of Health & Human Services website Workplaces or contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775.

To discuss smoking in a workplace with WorkSafe please contact them on (03) 5338 4444 or visit the WorkSafe website.

Train Stations and Bus Shelters

Smoking is prohibited in all covered areas of train platforms, tram and bus shelters.

Authorised officers under the Transport Act 1983 are responsible for enforcing smoking at train stations and bus shelters.

Are you having problems with smoking occurring at train platforms or bus shelters and want further information? Please refer to the Department of Health & Human Services website Train Platforms, bus shelters & tram shelters or contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775 for further information.

To report an incident please contact Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007 or provide online feedback at the Public Transport Victoria Website.

Tobacco Test Purchasing

It is an offence under the Tobacco Act 1987 to sell cigarettes to persons under 18 years of age.

Council runs a tobacco test purchasing program to check that tobacco retailers within the Ballarat municipality are not selling cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 years.

All complaints in relation to tobacco retailers selling tobacco products to persons under the age of 18 years should be reported to Environmental Health Unit on (03) 5320 5702.

Tobacco Retailers

It is an offence the display of tobacco products at retail outlets unless certification has been provided by the Department of Health & Human Services.

Tobacco retailers must:

  • Have no tobacco related advertising
  • Display a health warning/smoking cessation sign
  • Display a ‘no tobacco sales to under 18s sign
  • Not advertise discounted cigarettes.
  • Not display cigarette packaging or cartons.
  • If a price board is displayed one of the prescribed graphic health warnings must be displayed next to the price board. 

For further information on Tobacco Retailers please refer to the Department of Health & Human Services website for Retailers or contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775.  

Vending Machine

Vending machines are classed as a tobacco retailer and have to comply with the same laws as tobacco retail premises.

All vending machines (with the exemption of those located in bottle shops) must be placed in line of sight of the bar, within 5 metres from the outer edge of the bar.

For further information on Tobacco Retailers please refer to the Department of Health & Human Services website for Retailers or contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775. 


Roles & ResponsibilitiesTop of document.

A brief overview of the agencies and there roles and responsibilities are provided below and are initiated and undertaken in cooperation with all of the other agencies involved:

  • Local Government – Council’s Environmental Health Unit conduct educational and enforcement visits to tobacco retailers, eating establishments, licensed premises and gaming venues to promote an understanding of the Tobacco Act 1987 legislation and ensure compliance is achieved.
  • The Department of Health & Human Services administers the Tobacco Act 1987 and provides advice and assistance to all Victorian Councils and the public in dealing with tobacco related issues. This includes the publication of tobacco guides that can be requested directly from the Department or provided by the Environmental Health Unit.
  • Public Transport Victoria are responsible for education and enforcement of theTobacco Act 1987in relation to all train platforms, tram and bus shelters.
  • WorkSafe Victoria - Investigates any tobacco related circumstances that are not legislated against in theTobacco Act 1987 within the workplace(e.g. smoke drift that is causing a risk to health in a workplace).
  • Environment Protection Authority – The EPA implement Victoria’s public littering reporting system. Cigarette buts are a commonly reported litter type, especially from vehicles. More information on how you can report litter can be found at http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/en/get-involved/report-litter

Tobacco Act 1987 smoke free guides and required stickers can be provided by contacting the Department of Health Tobacco Information Line 1300 136 775 or by contacting Council’s Environmental Health Unit on (03) 5320 5702.


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