Council’s Public Health Unit provides information and advice to businesses about the requirements of the Tobacco Act and how to ensure businesses are acting responsibly in regards to selling tobacco products or regulating smoking in a venue. Council can also use enforcement action when a business is found to be not complying with the requirements.
A progressive tobacco reform program commenced on 1 July 2001, regulating smoking behaviour in indoor premises, restricting retail advertising and providing harsher penalties for selling cigarettes to minors. A number of legislative changes have been made since this time, including requirements for:
- No smoking in any enclosed workplace – this includes shops, carparks, restaurants, pubs and clubs
- No smoking in outdoor drinking or dining areas where there is a roof in place and walls covering more than 75% of the notional wall area
- Restriction of vending machines to bar or gaming areas of licensed premises and in sight of a service area
- Prohibiting non branded tobacco advertising (eg. matches / lighters) or buzz marketing (use of auditory or visual prompts to remind of previous ads /brands)
- No smoking in covered areas of train stations
- No smoking at under age music / dance events
- No smoking signage to be displayed in no smoking areas
- No sales of cigarettes to minors (under 18 year olds)
- Restricted displays of cigarettes.
The most recent changes to the Tobacco Act were passed in 2009 and are being progressively implemented. These include measures to protect children, such as:
- smoking bans in a motor vehicle if a person under the age of 18 years is present
- a ban on the sale of tobacco products from temporary outlets
- power for the Minister for Health to ban the sale of certain tobacco products and packaging that appeal to young people
- a ban on the display of tobacco products at point-of-sale with an exemption for certified ‘specialist tobacconists’.
Tobbaco Test Purchase Program
Council also participates in a statewide test purchase program which is co-ordinated by the Department of Human Services in partnership with local councils. Teenagers (typically aged 15-16 years old) are employed to attempt to purchase cigarettes from local tobacco retailers. Offending retailers are fined, and if re-offend, would be prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court where they would be subject to fines of up to $14,018 for individuals and $70,092 for companies.
Please contact the Public Health Unit on 9205 5166 to make a complaint or request an investigation into any tobacco-related enquiry.
Tobacco Reforms - Victorian Government Health Information
Health Protection Unit
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