New bans to butt out smoking and vaping in public places

SA Gov

Smoking and vaping in a raft of outdoor public spaces will be banned from tomorrow with new fines in place for those flouting the law.

From 1 March, no-smoking and vaping zones will be expanded to include at outdoor swimming pools, children’s sporting events, beaches near patrol flags and jetties and outside shopping centre entrances, childcare settings, schools and hospitals.

The zones have been introduced under new laws to protect the community from passive exposure to tobacco smoke and vape exhalant, following extensive consultation.

People caught smoking or vaping in any of the banned outdoor zones face on-the-spot fines of $105 and penalties of up to $750 if prosecuted.

Tackling the health crisis of vaping and smoking will be a key focus of a brand-new prevention agency that has launched in South Australia this week.

Preventive Health SA brings together Wellbeing SA and parts of Drug and Alcohol Services SA in a single independent agency to strengthen the prevention agenda in South Australia.

The introduction of Preventive Health SA delivers an election commitment from the Malinauskas Labor Government, with former Wellbeing SA head Marina Bowshall appointed interim chief executive.

Its prevention priorities will include tobacco, vaping, obesity, mental health, suicide prevention, alcohol and other drugs, and the determinants of health.

Investment in preventive health measures can help significantly reduce the amount and severity of preventable chronic disease, mental illness and injuries, not only reducing the impact on individuals and communities, but also contributing to building a sustainable health system as a whole.

Later this year, the Malinauskas Government will establish Preventive Health SA in legislation, embedding the prevention agenda for the long term.

An Establishment Advisory Council has been appointed – chaired by former Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon – to provide strategic advice and recommendations on the future operating and legislative models for the agency.

SA’s new smoke and vape prohibited outdoor public spaces include:

  • at outdoor public swimming facilities, and within 10 meters of the entrance
  • on beaches between and within 50 metres of patrol flags and within five metres of jetties
  • at and within 10 metres of schools and childcare settings
  • at and within 10 metres of non-residential building entrances, such as entrances to shopping centres, government and commercial buildings
  • at public hospitals and health facilities, private hospitals and within 10 metres of their boundaries
  • at major event venues declared under the Major Events Act 2013 and
  • at and within 10 metres of playing and viewing areas during organised under-18 years sporting events

The new zones significantly increase the number of outdoor places in SA where smoking and vaping is banned, in addition to the current smoke-free laws which include outdoor dining areas, playgrounds and public transport shelters.

A ‘Clearing the Air‘ advertising campaign has also been launched to explain how the new laws will work, before a second burst of the ‘Vape Truths’ campaign kicks off in mid-March. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, a popular Australian science presenter, will feature and deliver a range of messages about the risks of vaping.

These ‘Vape Truths’ advertisements will feature on digital and social media platforms, as well as in shopping centres, on buses, and on regional and metro radio. The ads, which explain more about the risks of vaping and support for quitting, can be found on the Be Vape Free website.

This first round of the Vape Truths campaign, which ran for eight weeks from July last year, had a significant positive public health impact. According to a survey, of those aged 15 to 25 who vape and had seen or heard the ads:

  • 78 per cent reported changing either their behaviour or thinking about vaping
  • 38 per cent had cut down their vaping
  • 36 per cent had considered quitting vaping

Of the parents and carers of vapers surveyed, 37 per cent reported they had talked to their child about vaping harms/quitting vaping, while 31 per cent looked online for information about vaping.

For more information on the new laws, go to the Clearing the Air website.

As put by Chris Picton

We make no apologies for stamping out vaping and smoking in a range of public outdoor spaces. Smoking is our biggest preventable killer and cause of disease and the rates of young people vaping and becoming addicted is alarming.

South Australians want to enjoy their public spaces, including outdoor pools and kids’ sporting grounds, free from harmful tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapour.

Our new Preventive Health SA agency will continue the important work of reducing the dangerous effects of vaping and smoking.

I’m pleased that our advertising campaigns are helping get the message across to young people and their parents that vaping, just like smoking, has huge health risks.

As put by Drug and Alcohol Services of South Australia Clinical Director Dr Victoria Cock

We now know the harms of tobacco smoking, and it’s becoming clear that vapes are also dangerous and can contain even more nicotine than cigarettes. This is particularly concerning when considering the health of our young people.

The nicotine in one vape can be equal to 50 cigarettes, or even more.

We need to do all we can to both limit passive smoking and get the message out that vaping is highly addictive and could be very damaging to your health.

It is always a good time to think about quitting smoking and vaping, and I encourage anyone thinking about quitting to call Quitline on 13 78 48.

As put by SA Health Executive Director Health Protection and Regulation Dr Chris Lease

I am pleased to support these important initiatives which aim to curb the rates of both smoking and vaping, and to reduce the dangers of passive smoking in community areas.

As put by Interim Chief Executive Preventive Health SA Marina Bowshall

While many South Australians experience good health, rates of chronic conditions are increasing, and investing in preventive health action can significantly reduce the volume and severity of preventable chronic disease, mental illness and injuries.

Our comprehensive and focused preventive health work aims to reduce the risk factors associated with such conditions – such as tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity and high blood pressure. We’re also increasing healthy behaviours through evidence-based policy and programs, which will positively impact the health, amenity and productivity of the South Australian community.

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