Clearing the air on new smoking ban

DON'T LIGHT UP: New smoking and vaping bans are in place from March 1. Picture: Contributed.

Smokers and vapers of the Limestone Coast will need to be mindful where they light up, with new bans coming into effect from today, March 1.

Smoking and vaping will now be banned from a variety of places, including outdoor swimming pools, children’s sporting events, beaches near patrol flags and jetties and outside shopping centre entrances, childcare settings, schools and hospitals.

People caught smoking or vaping in any of the banned outdoor zones face on-the-spot fines of $105 and penalties of up to $750.

The zones have been introduced under new laws to protect the community from passive exposure to tobacco smoke and vape exhalant, following extensive consultation.

Tackling the health crisis of vaping and smoking will be a key focus of a brand-new prevention agency that has launched in South Australia this week, Preventive Health SA.

SA’s new smoke and vape prohibited outdoor public spaces include:

-at outdoor public swimming facilities, and within 10 meters of the entrance

-on beaches between and within 50 metres of patrol flags and within five metres of jetties

-at and within 10 metres of schools and childcare settings

-at and within 10 metres of non-residential building entrances, such as entrances to shopping centres, government and commercial buildings

-at public hospitals and health facilities, private hospitals and within 10 metres of their boundaries

-at major event venues declared under the Major Events Act 2013 and

-at and within 10 metres of playing and viewing areas during organised under-18 years sporting events

The new zones significantly increase the number of outdoor places in SA where smoking and vaping is banned, in addition to the current smoke-free laws which include outdoor dining areas, playgrounds and public transport shelters.

A ‘Clearing the Air’ advertising campaign has also been launched to explain how the new laws will work, before a second burst of the ‘Vape Truths’ campaign kicks off in mid-March. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, a popular Australian science presenter, will feature and deliver a range of messages about the risks of vaping.

Minister for health Chris Picton said the government made “no apologies” for eliminating 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,” he 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.”