The ACT Government is committed to protecting the public from the harms associated with smoking and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. One way of doing this is to create smoke-free areas in public spaces.
Currently in the ACT, the Smoke-Free Public Places Act 2003 prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places, at outdoor eating and drinking areas, at underage music functions and in cars when children are present. Smoke-free policies also apply at various outdoor places, including on the grounds of ACT Health facilities, the Australian National University, Manuka Oval and GIO Stadium.
The ACT Government is considering whether to extend existing smoke-free protections to outdoor places where people congregate in close proximity, or can’t move away from tobacco smoke without risking loss of access to a service or activity. The current consultation places an emphasis on areas that are designed for, or often visited by children, young people and families. Through this consultation, the ACT Government is seeking community feedback on options for new smoke-free areas at:
- public play spaces/playgrounds;
- skate parks;
- bus waiting areas;
- public building entrances;
- sporting events; and
- outdoor public swimming pools that are privately-owned.
The discussion paper, Outdoor Smoke-Free Areas, has been produced to assist interested community members to respond to the consultation. The Discussion Paper is available for download here.
Copies of the discussion paper and questionnaire are also available from the Health Protection Service (call 02 6205 1700).
The ACT Government will use feedback gathered as part of the consultation process to decide on priority locations where smoke-free areas may be established, and to guide implementation arrangements for any new smoke-free areas.
The consultation closes on 17 December 2015.