Following a monitoring and targeted education program in the Northern Rivers, 38 key sites have since been monitored as part of a state-wide audit, with the smoking behaviour of several hundred people observed.
Some 18 cautionary notices were issued to smokers, mostly at bus stops, taxi ranks and entrances to buildings such as shopping malls. People found smoking in these areas may receive a fine of up to $500.
Butt bins were found to be situated within the no-smoking precincts of certain bus stops, taxi ranks and large buildings, and advice was issued for these to be relocated appropriately.
The Manager of the Northern NSW Health Promotion Unit, Jillian Adams said, “Together with the Commonwealth’s plain packaging legislation, this is an important health initiative to promote a healthy living environment and reduce the number of people who get exposed to others’ smoke in public places.
“Second hand or environmental smoke is known to be harmful to health of those exposed to it and is especially harmful to children who might suffer respiratory conditions, including asthma. Babies exposed to smoke are significantly more likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). These legislative changes act to make smoking in public less socially acceptable.”
For more information about the tobacco legislation and advice about the appropriate placement of signs and butt bins, please contact North Coast Public Health on 1300 066 055 during business hours.
For help with quitting call the NSW Quitline 24/7 on 137848 (13 QUIT), which also offers a free call back support service, or