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Town Squares to be smoke-free from 2019

Published on 29 November 2018
  • Community
Smoking cigarette

From 1 January 2019, Ringwood Town Square and the future Croydon Town Square will be smoke-free.

Following extensive community consultation earlier this year, Council voted at its meeting on Monday 26 November 2018 to amend the current Local Law 11 and will enforce a ban on smoking at both locations.

Under the Tobacco Act 1987, smoking is already banned in all outdoor dining areas and licensed premises, including courtyard and footpath dining, at food fairs and community events.

Mayor Cr Rob Steane said community consultation in late 2017 and again in early 2018 showed overwhelming support for both town squares becoming designated smoke-free zones.

“A smoke-free Ringwood Town Square, and future Croydon Town Square, is a breath of fresh air for local residents and visitors to our City,” Cr Steane said.

“It’s hoped the smoke-free ban will encourage smokers to quit, protect the community from the dangers of second-hand smoke, and prevent young people from taking up the potentially lethal habit,” he said.

According to Cancer Council Australia, exposure to passive smoke raises a person’s risk of heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory conditions, and can cause asthma, premature infant death and allergic respiratory diseases in children.

The amended local law paves the way for other public places in Maroondah becoming smoke-free.

“Whilst Council recognises that there has been much work by other levels of government to promote anti-smoking messages, there is still an opportunity for us to respond at a local level to further protect the health of our community by broadening these smoking ban measures across other areas of our City,” Cr Steane said.

In the absence of state-wide legislation, local councils have the power to legislate in their own jurisdictions, including prohibiting smoking in certain public places to protect the health and safety of its residents.

Council will undertake an extensive communication campaign to ensure the community and local traders are aware of the smoking ban.

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