A recent Cancer Council Victoria survey found eight out of 10 Victorians believe smoking shouldn't be allowed in outdoor areas where children are present, while seven out of 10 believe smoking shouldn't be allowed in outdoor restaurant dining areas.
Smoke-free areas give smokers a reason not to light up, helping them to cut their tobacco consumption and eventually stop smoking for good. They also help people trying to quit smoking stay on track. As for non-smokers, smoke-free areas de-normalise smoking for children so they are less likely to take up the habit later in life.
Together with the Heart Foundation (Victoria), Quit is lobbying individual councils in Victoria to address smoking in their communities. Some councils have already taken action; with Frankston City Council establishing a smoke-free outdoor mall in the city centre and the City of Port Phillip and Surf Coast Shire banning smoking on beaches. This is a fantastic start.
What can you do?
Supporting smoke-free playgrounds, sporting fields, beaches and outdoor dining areas is one way you can help further drive down smoking rates and smoking-caused illness.
Why not contact your local council and lobby them to introduce smoke-free outdoor areas? Find your local council and the relevant contact details.