Smoking Bans at Victorian Schools
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Do you need to comply?
Yes, under amendments to the Tobacco Act 1987, affective from 13 April 2015.
Conditions of compliance
From Monday 13 April 2015, smoking is banned within four metres of an entrance to all primary and secondary schools in Victoria, and within the school grounds. All Victorian schools are required by law to install suitable ‘No Smoking’ signs at all entrances to the school premises. Signs can be ordered free-of-charge from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
A similar ban applying to the entrances and grounds of Victorian childcare centres and kindergartens will be introduced at the same time.
If you have to comply, what do you have to do?
- It is a legislative requirement that all schools install suitable ‘No Smoking’ signs at all entrances to the school premises.
- Signs and other communication materials, such as posters and brochures, are available to order free-of-charge from DHHS. These can be ordered from the Tobacco Reforms website or by calling 1300 136 775.
- Schools are encouraged to join over 650 other schools currently participating in the Healthy Together Achievement Program to create a healthy learning and smoke-free environment. The Achievement Program supports a whole-school approach to promoting health and improving student wellbeing and engagement and this may also support the introduction of the bans.
- Further information about the Healthy Together Achievement Program is available on the program’s website.
What are the consequences if you don’t comply?
- An infringement penalty of $147.00 could apply to adults caught wilfully breaking the law.
- Council officers have been given power to enter school premises to monitor and enforce the ban. However, this is subject to permission from the school principal and, if permission is provided, the inspector must be accompanied by the school principal or a person acting on their behalf. It is anticipated that the focus for council officers will be on those smoking within four metres of school entrances, and that the power to enter school premises will be used sparingly.
Who will help you?
Please contact the Tobacco Control Section of DHHS if you have any questions regarding the smoking bans, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (03) 9096 0469.
Independent Schools Victoria contact:
School Services Advisor
Ph: 9825 7275
Documents for Download
Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents: Tobacco Act 1987
Links and Resources
Department of Health: Tobacco Reforms website
Vic DET: Smoking Ban