World No Tobacco Day tomorrow will ring in changes to the State’s tobacco laws and the Adelaide City Council us urging the public to take note of the new smoking legislation.
Under the new legislation:
• Smoking is banned within 10 metres of children’s public playground equipment
• Smoking Is banned under covered public transport waiting areas, including bus, tram, train and taxi shelters and other areas used to board or alight from public transport that are covered by a roof.
• Local Councils and other incorporated bodies can apply to have an outdoor area or event declared smoke-free.
• The age that a person can be fined for smoking-related offences has been reduced to 15 years.
The maximum fine for breaching the smoking laws is $200. An expiation notice of $75 can be issued.
Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said that the Council is supportive of these changes and the positive health messages they will send to the wider community.
“It will bring us in line with other States and will further protect the community from passive smoking, increase the comfort and amenity of public areas for non-smokers and will reduce the exposure of young people to smoking," he said.
Council is currently assessing the implications the changes will have on events that can apply to implement ‘smoke-free’ zones.
Ms Wendy Keech, acting CEO Heart Foundation SA said that heart disease is South Australia’s single leading cause of death, accounting for nearly 6 deaths every day.
“It is well known that a major risk factor for heart disease is tobacco smoking, yet currently more than 1 in 5 people in South Australia smoke.
“Furthermore, community awareness of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke has led the community to accept, and expect, the availability of smoke-free areas,” she added.
“This legislation sends a clear message that it is unacceptable for non-smokers to be exposed to second-hand smoke and that everyone has the right to live, work and play in smoke-free environments,” said Ms Keech.
The new laws are on the back of Council’s push to ban smoking in Rundle Mall, which will come into effect later this year.
“Part of Council’s role is to ensure people have a comfortable and healthy experience in Rundle Mall,” Councillor Houssam Abiad said.
“We have listened and worked with the community and consultation proved majority of people are in favour of the smoking ban, with strong support also from health organisation including the Heart Foundation, Drug and Alcohol Services SA and the Cancer Council of SA.”
The community will be made aware when the changes to Rundle Mall come in and there will be a transitional period for people to get used to the no-smoking controls.
Last year Adelaide City Council was also the first local government to offer an incentive scheme to encourage permit holders to eliminate smoking in their outdoor dining areas.
So far 62 businesses have taken up the offer, receiving a 50% discount off their normal outdoor dining permit fees.
The 12 month trial ends in August and a report will be delivered back to Council on the effectiveness of the scheme.
For further information on the new Tobacco Laws, see www.tobaccolaws.sa.gov.au