Butt out for No Tobacco Day

25 May 2015

With new legislation banning outdoor smoking in commercial areas approaching on July 6 2015, now is a good time to stub out those cigarettes for good, get healthy and save some money.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is encouraging people to make a quit attempt or set a date to kick the habit this World No Tobacco Day (May 31).

Tobacco Day

Although smoking rates in Australia and in NSW have declined, there is more work to be done.

WSLHD Centre of Population Health deputy director, Christine Newman said, “In western Sydney, 16.5 per cent of the population smokes.

“There has been an overall decline in the number of people smoking which is great, but there are still some community groups and local government areas in western Sydney with much higher rates.

“If you’ve been thinking about giving cigarettes the flick, now’s the time to do so,” Ms Newman said.

Smoking-related illness accounts for about 5,200 deaths and 44,000 hospitalisations each year, costing the NSW economy around $8 billion each year from conditions such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease.

Environmental tobacco smoke can be as harmful as smoking, particularly for children and cigarette butts are extremely damaging to our environment and wildlife.

As part of its commitment to reduce the harmful effects of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke, the NSW Government made changes to the Smoke Free Environment Act of 2000.

From July 6 2015, a person is not able to smoke in commercial outdoor dining areas in NSW.

This includes seated dining areas, within four metres of a seated dining area on licensed premises, restaurants and cafés and 10 metres of a food fair stall.

Other areas where smoking is banned include:

  • Within four metres of a pedestrian entrance to a public building
  • Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public spaces
  • Railway platforms, light rail stops, light rail stations, bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry wharves
  • Spectator areas at sports and recreational grounds or during organised sporting events; and
  • Swimming pool complexes

WSLHD prohibits smoking in all areas of its public hospitals including car parks and bus shelters.

For information on how to quit smoking, visit www.iCanQuit.com.au or ring the Quitline on 13 78 48.