Major smoking and vaping bans come into effect from tomorrow

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.

Starting tomorrow, stricter regulations will be enforced to curb smoking and vaping in various outdoor public areas, accompanied by fines for violators.

Effective March 1st, designated no-smoking and vaping zones will be expanded to encompass outdoor swimming pools, children’s sporting events, beaches near lifeguard flags and docks, as well as the vicinity of shopping center entrances, childcare facilities, schools, and hospitals.

These new regulations have been introduced to safeguard the public from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and vapor emissions, following extensive consultations. Offenders caught smoking or vaping in these prohibited outdoor zones will face on-the-spot fines of $105 and potential penalties of up to $750 upon prosecution.

Addressing the pressing health concerns associated with vaping and smoking is a central focus of a newly established prevention agency in South Australia.

“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.” Minister for Health and Wellbeing Chris Picton said.

“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.”

Preventive Health SA consolidates Wellbeing SA and components of Drug and Alcohol Services SA into a unified independent entity, dedicated to bolstering preventive measures across South Australia. This initiative fulfills an electoral pledge by the Malinauskas Labor Government, with Marina Bowshall, former head of Wellbeing SA, appointed as interim chief executive.

Preventive Health SA will prioritize various health issues, including tobacco and vaping, obesity, mental health, suicide prevention, substance abuse, and determinants of health. Investments in preventive health initiatives can significantly mitigate the incidence and severity of preventable chronic diseases, mental health conditions, and injuries, thereby alleviating burdens on individuals and communities while fostering a sustainable healthcare system.

Later this year, the Malinauskas Government plans to formalize the establishment of Preventive Health SA through legislation, ensuring a long-term commitment to the prevention agenda. An Establishment Advisory Council, chaired by former Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, has been appointed to provide strategic guidance on the agency’s future operational and legislative frameworks.

The newly designated smoke and vape-free outdoor public spaces in South Australia include:

  • Outdoor public swimming facilities and areas within 10 meters of their entrances
  • Beaches between and within 50 meters of lifeguard flags and within five meters of docks
  • Areas within 10 meters of schools, childcare facilities, and non-residential building entrances, such as those to shopping centers, government, and commercial buildings
  • Public hospitals, health facilities, private hospitals, and areas within 10 meters of their boundaries
  • Major event venues designated under the Major Events Act 2013
  • Playing and viewing areas during organized under-18 years sporting events, as well as areas within 10 meters of these zones

These expanded zones significantly broaden the scope of outdoor locations in South Australia where smoking and vaping are prohibited, complementing existing smoke-free laws covering outdoor dining areas, playgrounds, and public transport shelters.

“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,” Drug and Alcohol Services of South Australia Clinical Director Dr Victoria Cock said.

“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.”

To inform the public about these new regulations, the ‘Clearing the Air’ advertising campaign has been launched, providing details on the implementation of the laws. Additionally, a follow-up campaign named ‘Vape Truths’, featuring popular Australian science presenter Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, will commence in mid-March. These advertisements, disseminated across digital and social media platforms, as well as in shopping centers, buses, and radio broadcasts, aim to educate the public about the risks of vaping and provide support for quitting.

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