Fresh Air – Smoke-Free Town Centres

The City of Vincent will be introducing Smoke-Free Town Centres as part of its Public Health Plan. The project aims to reduce community exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and create healthy environments, free from smoking and vaping in our entertainment precincts.

Parts of North Perth, Mt Hawthorn, Leederville, William Street and Beaufort Street will be smoke-free from 22 November.

Background

Our Public Health Plan showed 8 per cent of Vincent residents smoked tobacco, excluding vapers. While the dangers around smoking and second-hand smoking are well-known, vaping is becoming increasingly common - especially within the younger demographic - and the long-term effects remain unclear.

In light of the above, we formed the Smoke-Free Town Centres project.

Between May and August 2021, Vincent consulted the community, businesses and public health stakeholders on draft smoke-free boundaries for Leederville, Mt Hawthorn, North Perth, Beaufort Street and William Street. 61 per cent of participants supported the proposed smoke-free areas.

In addition to community support, North Metropolitan Health Service, Cancer Council WA and Australian Council On Smoking And Health (ACOSH) also supported the proposed smoke-free areas.

As a result, Council approved five smoke-free areas at its 26 July Ordinary Council Meeting.

Last updates

Smoke-Free Town Centres to be rolled out in November

Why Smoke-Free Town Centres?

Normalise smoke free

A smoke-free environment is the future of urban centres. Melbourne is a pioneer in this field and the City of Vincent wants to open the door and become a leader in healthy environments in WA.

This project will contribute towards the Healthway strategic priority of ‘Creating a smoke-free WA’.

Reduce second-hand smoke exposure among our community

We want to protect the community, including children and young people from harmful effects of second-hand smoke and improve our community’s health.

Reduce the drivers for smoking uptake

Less exposure to smoking behaviour in our community can reduce uptake of smoking among young people and adults.

Reduce litter from cigarette butts

Cigarette butts contain cellulose acetate, a kind of plastic that takes several years to degrade in the environment. By reducing the litter from cigarette butts, we want to reduce their negative impact on our environment.

Create healthy and safe environment for people to live, work and play

By protecting our people and our environment, we’ll create a better and healthier living space for our community.

Implementation of the Smoke-Free Town Centres

Policies

The smoke-free areas have been included in the Local Government Property Local Law 2022.

The Local Government Property Amendment Local Law 2022 and the Smoke-Free Areas – Education and Policy were adopted by Council on 26 July 2022 so that smoke-free areas could be brought to life.

Funding

The City of Vincent received a Healthway grant in order to deploy its Smoke-Free Town Centres project.

Education and Awareness

Education is our first approach to implement and deploy this project.

A six-month education and awareness campaigns (including signage, workshops and events) have been established. The aim of these campaigns is to bring more clarity about myths and facts, particularly around the new phenomenon of vaping.

We will also engage with not-for-profit organisations, pharmacies, youth institutions, schools and local businesses in order to educate and answers all questions from the community.

Finally, we will also provide support to help people quit smoking.

Infringement and enforcement

After six months, education and awareness will continue to be the primary approach, but the City would be able to make enforcement decisions, subject to some key principles. These include repeated offences, without a willingness to respond to education and important considerations around the safety and vulnerability of the person.

Enforcement of the smoke-free areas penalties of $100 and a maximum of $200.

 

Maps of the smoke-free areas

 

Timeline

  • 22 November
    Smoke-Free Town Centres launch in conjunction with Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • December 2022 – May 2023
    Education and awareness program
  • From May 2023
    Continuation of education and awareness and start of infringement

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is City of Vincent investing in this project?

  • It is an initiative in the City’s Public Health Plan 2020 – 2025
  • Supported by Council
  • 61 per cent of residents supported the project
  • The health and social costs that smoking imposes on the community are significant. In 2015-16, this was $136.9 billion

Why will this be good for a town centre?

Creating Smoke-Free Town Centres will have benefits for the entire community including:

  • Protect the community from passive smoking
  • Improved health and wellbeing of the community
  • Less litter from cigarette butts and cigarette packets
  • Positive role modelling for young people
  • Heightened awareness of the health risks of smoking and second-hand smoke
  • Enhanced support for community members to cut down or quit
  • Reduced fire risks

Is the City of Vincent trying to ban smoking in the entire City?

  • No. Town centres with smoke-free areas have been implemented. Maps of the smoke-free areas can be found above
  • Other smoke-free areas will also be considered as part of this project such as parks and other outdoor public spaces in the future

What is a smoke-free area?

  • Any outdoor public space within the defined town centre boundaries
  • Includes public footpaths and public open spaces such as parks (within town centre boundary)

How have the smoke-free areas been identified?

The following considerations were made:

  • Feedback from consultations with community members, local business and key stakeholders
  • Town centre boundaries and size of the boundary
  • Location of the entertainment strips
  • Public open spaces
  • Clear boundaries where smoke-free areas start and finish (e.g. main roads and intersections, prominent landmarks)

How will the City of Vincent enforce no smoking in the smoke-free areas?

  • Town centres will feature clear signage including the internationally recognised symbol for no smoking and no vaping
  • Education and awareness is the first approach – online campaigns, pop-up events, workshops, signage in various languages
  • Working closely with local businesses operating within town centre boundaries
  • Fines are the last resort and are enforceable under Local Government Property Local Law 2021. When issuing fines, a person’s safety and vulnerability, and willingness to respond to education and history of compliance will be considered

Where will smokers go if they wish to smoke in the town centres?

  • If a smoker wishes to smoke, they do not have far to walk to be outside of the smoke free area
  • The smoke free areas focus on main streets and do not include side streets

Will smoke-free town centres have a negative impact on local businesses?

  • Existing Australian and international literature, shows that smoke-free legislation does not result in venues closing, does not result in a loss in revenue and does not lead to declining business related to tourism
  • The City is continuing to work with local businesses to manage the transition of footpath areas directly outside venues becoming smoke-free area

Businesses factsheet

Do the smoke-free town centres project affect a business that allows smoking on their private land?

  • No. Businesses can still allow smoking in smoking zones on their private property
  • Some businesses have chosen to become smoke-free and the City of Vincent is happy to support businesses who are making this transition with signage and information

I’m concerned for street-present people and other vulnerable groups including those addicted to smoking. How will they be supported to comply with the new rules?

  • The City is undertaking targeted engagement with services who already support and are in regular contact with these people
  • This includes working with local pharmacies, homelessness services, youth services as well as promoting Quitline to help people plan and develop strategies to quit

Has the City of Vincent banned e-cigarettes/vaping in smoke-free areas?

The City is treating e-cigarettes/vaping the same as smoking so therefore will also be banned in smoke free areas. This is because all types of smoked tobacco products produce second-hand smoke which can be harmful

Has this been implemented elsewhere?

Yes. The City has been reviewing other cities that have implemented similar projects. Those include City of Melbourne, City of Hobart, City of North Sydney, City of Brisbane and City of Perth

 

Useful resources

Smoke Free Areas - Consultations Report

Smoke Free Areas - Education & Enforcement Policy

Local Government Property Local Law 2021

Public Health Plan

Smoke Free Town Centres - Business Factsheet

'Do you know what you're vaping?’ awareness campaign (health.wa.gov.au)

E-cigarettes and vaping - Lung Foundation Australia

Businesses factsheet

Share your thoughts.

We value your feedback. Please share with us your thoughts about the Smoke-Free Town Centres project.


 

 

Contact us

For questions related to the Smoke-Free Town Centres, please email mail@vincent.wa.gov.au or call us via (08) 9273 6000.