Whitehorse City Council

Tobacco Control

Every year smoking causes over 4,000 unnecessarily early deaths in Victoria alone. In comparison, just over 300 deaths are caused by accidents on our roads each year, and approximately 900 deaths are due to alcohol and other drugs.  

In the City of Whitehorse the number of tobacco related deaths are, on average, 114 per year compared to 20 deaths from alcohol and other drugs and seven deaths on our roads. 

Smoking also causes the most significant proportion of avoidable chronic illness and hospitalisation from conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic pulmonary disease.      

Whitehorse City Council administers and enforces provisions of the Tobacco Act 1987 that relate to tobacco retailers and smoking restrictions in enclosed workplaces. 

Smoking is off the menu with new reforms

State Government Legislation covering smoking in outdoor areas where food is eaten takes effect throughout the City of Whitehorse from 1 August 2017.

The legislation, outlined in the Tobacco Amendment Act 2016, states that:

  • Smoking is banned at premises such as restaurants, cafés, take-away shops and licenced premises, including courtyard dining areas and footpath dining.
  • Smoking is banned within 10 metres of a food vendor at organised outdoor events.
  • Smoking is banned in an outdoor drinking area that is within 4 metres of an outdoor dining area, unless separated by at least a 2.1 metre high wall or a 4 metre buffer zone between an outdoor dining and drinking area. 

The legislation also aims to support people who have recently quit smoking or who are trying to quit smoking by removing smoking visual cues and triggers.

For more information on the new legislation and guides for businesses and event organisers, visit www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/tobacco-reform

Tobacco Retailers

Council authorised officers conduct education visits to tobacco retailers including specialist tobacconists to ensure they comply with their legal obligations under the Tobacco Act and includes:

  • Display and advertising tobacco products
  • Signage requirements at tobacco retailers
  • Ban on display of tobacco products (from 1 Jan 2011)
  • Cigarette sales to minors and conducting tobacco test purchasing
  • Cigarette vending machines
  • Ban on the sale of tobacco from temporary outlets. 

Tobacco retailers are informed and educated on the relevant signage that must be displayed at their premises.  

From 1 January 2011, the display of tobacco products and packaging was banned. 

Acceptable forms of identification must be produced by the customers to ensure they are over 18 to purchase tobacco products. If you look under 25 you should be asked for photo identification, such as a driving licence. 

Whitehorse City Council also conducts regular tobacco test purchasing of tobacco retailers throughout the municipality. Selling tobacco products to any person under 18 is illegal. This includes the sale of tobacco products from vending machines. An individual/company may receive an on-the spot fine or face legal proceeding in the Magistrates’ Court for selling to any person under 18 years of age. 

Click the following link to access the Tobacco Retailer’s Guide.

Smoking restrictions in enclosed workplace

From 2006, it is an offence to smoke in an enclosed workplace under the Tobacco Act 1987. Studies have found that smoking restrictions in the workplace are effective. These restrictions not only protect workers from exposure to second hand tobacco smoke but can also reduce the amount people smoke each day, and increase their chances of successfully quitting.

Whitehorse City Council will investigate and, if necessary, undertake enforcement action when complaints in relation to smoking in workplace are received. It is the responsibility of the occupier of an enclosed workplace to ensure no one who works in or visits a workplace smokes in the enclosed areas of the workplace. This includes: employers, employees, voluntary workers, delivery drivers, couriers, customers and members of the public.

Click the following link to access further information regarding Smoke free workplaces guide.

Smoking restrictions in licensed premises and outdoor dining and drinking areas

From 2007, it is an offence to smoke in enclosed licensed premises and outdoor dining or drinking areas where there is a roof in place and walls that cover more than 75% of the total notional wall area. The occupier of an enclosed licensed premises or an outdoor dining or drinking area, where there is a roof in place and walls that cover more than 75% of the total notional wall area, must display “No Smoking” signs to clearly indicate smoke-free premises or areas.  

Whitehorse City Council will investigate and, if necessary, undertake enforcement action when such complaints are received. From 2007, if a person smokes in an enclosed licensed premises, or an outdoor dining or drinking area that is required to be smoke-free, the person who smokes may receive a fine or be prosecuted, as may the person in control of the premises at the time – the occupier. 

Click the following link to access further information regarding smoke-free guide: licensed premises and outdoor dining or drinking areas. 

External Tobacco Fact Sheets