Butt-out or risk on-the-spot fine from March 1

16 Feb 2015

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is reminding the community that smoking at the entrances of public hospitals is illegal.

From March 1 2015, anyone caught lighting up at the entrance of a healthcare facility risks a $300 on-the-spot fine. 

Dr Stephen Corbett, WSLHD director for the Centre of Population Health, says the new law will protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. 

“We’re urging the local community to protect those around hospitals – babies, children, people with respiratory and or heart disease - by not smoking,”  Dr Corbett said.

“Smoking near hospitals can trigger breathing problems for those who are already sick.”

Dr Corbett said there was no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

“In adults, it can increase their risk of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and other diseases.

“The risk for children, inhaling second-hand tobacco smoke is even more dangerous.”

WSLHD has a Smoke Free Policy that applies to all hospitals and healthcare facilities.

In the lead up to March 1, WSLHD are issuing information cards to smokers, advising them of the policy and free support aids. 

“Smoking is a powerful addiction and help is available for anyone trying to quit,” said Dr Corbett.

Free support is available through your local GP, contact Quitline on 13 78 48 or visit www.icanquit.com.au

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For more information about the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 visit http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/tobacco/Pages/smokefree-legislation.aspx