NSW smoke-free campaign

NSW smoke-free campaign

For the past five years a consortium of NSW health NGOs, chaired by the Heart Foundation, has worked with NSW local councils to establish smoke-free outdoor areas on council-owned land.

This action was in response to the public’s increasing demand for the right to be able to enjoy outdoor recreation facilities and areas without being exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke.

In August 2012, the Heart Foundation applauded the NSW Government and the members of Parliament who supported the state-wide introduction of legislation that will finally lift the cigarette smoke haze that has affected the health and enjoyment of the community in NSW for far too long.

This legislation will ban smoking within 10m of playgrounds, at sporting fields when sport is being played, at public transport stops including bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry wharfs, from 4 metres in front of doorways of public buildings, on hospital grounds from January 2013 and in outdoor dining areas of licensed premises where food is being served from July 2015.

The legislation will protect the more than 85 per cent of people in NSW who do not smoke and it will also work to de-normalise the habit and breaks the link between drinking and smoking for those who still do.

To find out more about the legislation visit the NSW Health website.

NSW local government areas

Every day, four people in NSW lose their lives from cardiovascular disease caused by smoking.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in NSW, with cigarettes killing half of all lifetime smokers and accounting for 5200 deaths and 44,000 hospitalisations per year and costing the NSW community about $8 billion annually.

Smokers are up to four times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than non-smokers.

This includes a greater chance of having one or more heart attacks or 20 times more likely to suffer from angina than non-smokers.

Councils have the power to legislate in their own jurisdictions to move ahead of the state-wide legislation and further protect their local communities from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Find out if your local council has a smoke-free policy:

2012 survey of NSW councils

A Heart Foundation survey of local governments in NSW has found (as of 31 July 2012) that 98 of the 152 councils have adopted some form of smoke-free outdoor areas policy, including 91% of Sydney metropolitan councils and almost 54% of regional/rural councils. Twenty-eight councils had policy in 2007.

Smoke-free outdoor dining

The Heart Foundation and Cancer Council NSW conducted a survey of cafe and restaurant owners/managers in November 2010. Eight out of ten (78%) believe a state-wide smoking ban in outdoor dining areas would be fairer than current arrangements and create a better environment for customers.

NSW smoke-free resources

Across NSW almost 60% of local councils have responded to this interest by introducing some form of smoke-free outdoor areas policy in their local communities. Having reached this tipping point, the Heart Foundation is calling for state-wide legislation to make all alfresco dining venues and other crowded outdoor areas smoke-free.

A smoke-free outdoor areas resource kit has been developed for local government by the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council NSW, the Australian Medical Association NSW and Action on Smoking and Health Australia. The councils of Manly and Mosman have made a valuable contribution to the kit, and the NSW Local Government and Shires Association has endorsed it.

The kit includes the following fact sheets:

Fact sheet 1: Why are outdoor smoke-free areas important for your council? (PDF)
Fact sheet 2: Sample council report and policy (PDF)
Fact sheet 3: Case studies: Smoke-free councils (PDF)
Fact sheet 4: Frequently asked questions (PDF)
Fact sheet 5: Addressing the challenges (PDF)
Fact sheet 6: Smoke-free outdoor events (PDF)

Smoke-free areas case study — Manly Council

Manly Council first introduced smoke-free zones in May 2004, starting with playgrounds and beaches. Since then its policy has been expanded to cover other outdoor areas and in 2008, Manly Council won a Heart Foundation Local Government Award at national level for its comprehensive program.

Learn more: Manly Council's smoke-free zones experience

For more information or to request a hard copy of the resource kit and survey report, please phone (02) 9219 2475 or get in touch via email.

Tobacco industry tactics

The images below are of information cards inserted in many Philip Morris-brand packs and handed out in pubs and clubs from April 2011. The "I deserve to be heard" cards portray people whinging against tobacco tax rises, retail display bans and plain packs, and smoke-free places.

Authorised by Philip Morris Ltd, the cards pointed smokers to a company website to have their say. The people in the cards profess a concern for smokers' rights not evident in the tobacco industry's past actions.

Cigarette pack insert No. 1: Smoke-free public places

Philip Morris-brand cigarette packs card: Smoke-free public places message

Philip Morris brand cigarette packs card: Smoke-free public places card showing a group of people huddling under a no smoking sign

Philip Morris brand cigarette packs card: a confused man shrugging his shoulder

Cigarette pack inserts No. 2: Plain packs

Philip Morris brand cigarette packs card: a plain-pack message

Cigarette pack inserts No. 3: Tax

Philip Morris brand cigarette packs card: over-taxed card showing money falling from a man's jeans pocket

From Sydney Uni tobacco supersite

Philip Morris brand cigarette packs card: over-taxed message

From Sydney Uni tobacco supersite

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