The government’s (anti) smoking laws have contributed to the decline of smoking rates in Victoria. Smoking laws include bans on where you can smoke. You need to be aware of these laws as there are now on the spot fines for smoking in banned areas.
Banned smoking areas
The smoking areas that are banned in Victoria include:
- Registered community health centres.
- Childcare centres.
- Police stations.
- Most government buildings.
- Parliament of Victoria.
- Public hospitals.
Smoking is prohibited at these places, as well anywhere within 10 metres of places where children play. This includes skate parks, playgrounds, public swimming pools and sporting venues that are hosting events for under-18s.
Smoking laws for business
Businesses are restricted in the way they sell, display and advertise cigarettes and cigarette products. The hospitality business will be affected by future laws. The government has announced that outdoor dining areas will be smoke-free from 1st August 2017.
This will include all outdoor dining at:
- take-away shops,
- pubs, and
A host of different means of consultation will be available for businesses, including small businesses, to participate in before these bans come into place.
Smoking laws in the workplace
People often mistake anti-smoking laws for covering workplace issues with smoking. Anti-smoking is covered by the Tobacco Act. The Tobacco Act says that it is an offence to smoke in most enclosed workplaces. If you have an issue with smoking within a workplace and the workplace is an outdoor area, you may be in a complex situation not covered by the Tobacco Act.
Worksafe Victoria is the body that deals with the law surrounding smoking in the workplace.
Is it an offence to smoke in the workplace?
If the workplace is outside, smoking at work might not be against the law. However, employment law (the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004) says that employers have a duty to provide a working environment that is safe and without risks to health, so far as is reasonably practicable.
How to deal with smoking in the workplace
If Worksafe Victoria becomes aware of an issue with smoking in a workplace and the workplace is enclosed, the matter will be dealt with under the Tobacco Act.
If the workplace is not enclosed and an employee makes a complaint to Worksafe Victoria, they will investigate the issue and try to come to a resolution between employer and employee. They will enforce compliance.