Smoke-Free Environments

Smoke-free environments are important as they:

  • Protect the community from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke
  • Make smoking in the community less acceptable - the less people see smoking in public places the less likely they will think it is okay
  • Support people who have quit or are trying to quit smoking

Local Laws

Council has a number of local laws that ban smoking for the health and safety of our community.

It is an offence to smoke:

  • At certain events, including events organised or sponsored by Council
  • Inside a building on Council land, within 10m of the entrance to such buildings, within 10m of a building on a reserve dedicated or used for outdoor cultural, sporting or recreational purposes, or on Council land

Smoking is banned in areas commonly used by children and young people for recreational and sporting activities. This includes within 10m of:

  • Children’s playground equipment that is in an outdoor public place
  • A skate park that is in an outdoor public place
  • A sporting venue that is in an outdoor public place during an organised underage sporting event, including training or practice sessions and during breaks or intervals in play
  • An outdoor area of a swimming pool complex that is a public place

Tobacco control

Council’s Environmental Health Officers are authorised under the Tobacco Act 1987, and administer and enforce provisions that relate to outdoor dining, tobacco retailers and smoking restrictions in enclosed workplaces.

Outdoor dining smoking bans

State Government legislation covers smoking in outdoor areas where food is eaten and bans smoking in outdoor dining areas of restaurants, cafes, take-away shops and licensed premises in areas where food is consumed, including on footpaths, balconies and in courtyards. 

For more information, see the Department of Health website: Smoke-free outdoor dining.

Information for tobacco retailers

The display of tobacco products and packaging is banned in retail outlets. Retailers can still sell tobacco products, but the products and packaging must not be visible to the public from anywhere inside or outside the premises. Other important laws exist around the display of advertising material and health warning signs.  Educational visits are made to businesses that sell tobacco to inform them of their obligations in complying with the Tobacco Laws.

Council participates in a state-wide program aimed at controlling the sale of tobacco to people under the age of 18. Minors are employed to carry out ‘test purchasing’ of cigarettes from tobacco retail businesses and enforcement action is taken when businesses are caught selling tobacco to minors. 

More information for tobacco retailers can be found on the Department of Health website: Retailers.

Workplace smoking restrictions

It is an offence to smoke in an enclosed workplace under the Tobacco Act 1987. Studies have found that smoking restrictions in the workplace are effective. These restrictions protect workers from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke and can reduce the amount people smoke each day, increasing their chances of successfully quitting.

Council will investigate and, if necessary, take enforcement action if workplace smoking complaints are received. It is the responsibility of the occupier of an enclosed workplace to ensure no one who works in or visits a workplace smokes in enclosed areas. This includes employers, employees, voluntary workers, delivery drivers, couriers, customers and members of the public.

For more information, see the Department of Health website: Smoke-free workplaces.

Other smoke-free areas

Amendments to the Tobacco Act have extended the areas where smoking is banned across Victoria. Smoke-free areas include:

  • Entrances to indoor children’s play centres, public hospitals and registered community health centres, and certain Victorian Government buildings
  • The grounds of, and entrances to, childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools and primary and secondary schools
  • Outdoor recreational areas, including playground equipment, skate parks and sporting venues during under-age sporting events
  • Outdoor areas of public swimming pools
  • Patrolled beaches
  • Train stations, tram-stop platforms and tram and bus shelters
  • Under-age music or dance events.

For more information, see the Department of Health website: Other smoke-free areas.

Smoking-related complaints

If you see someone smoking in an outdoor dining area, have a concern about a retailer selling a single cigarette or selling cigarettes to a minor (under the age of 18), or any other tobacco-related breaches, you should report them to Council on 9518 3555 or mail@monash.vic.gov.au

After receiving a complaint, an Environmental Health Officer will visit the premises to educate the proprietor about their obligations under Victorian tobacco laws. Further complaints may result in fines or prosecution.

Cigarette litter

It is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1970 to litter, and on-the-spot fines apply. To find out more information about litter, including cigarette butts, and how to report it, visit the EPA Victoria website.

Quit smoking

If you want information on how to quit smoking, contact Quitline on 13 7848 or visit the Quit website.

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Last updated: 30 June 2021