Smoke free: a healthier, happier Mornington Peninsula

Published on 29 August 2019

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29 August 2019

Mornington Peninsula Shire is inviting the community to provide their thoughts on Council’s draft Smoke Free Environment Policy.

Community consultation on the draft Policy is open until Monday 7 October.

This critical initiative stems from Council’s Public Health and Wellbeing Plan and the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Smoke Free Charter.

The Charter encourages the Shire, other public land owners, businesses and community groups to provide smoke free public areas and implement programs to reduce smoking rates in the community. Many local businesses have joined the Charter by providing smoke free local areas, as well as Bentons Square and Mornington Central Shopping Centres.

The draft Smoke Free Environment Policy, together with the Charter, support the Tobacco and Alcohol Compliance element of Mornington Peninsula Shire’s innovative food safety program ‘Best Bites’, which assesses local food businesses on measures they are taking to provide safe and healthy food; use environmentally sustainable business practices; and provide safe and accessible food premises.

The draft Smoke Free Environment Policy aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the Peninsula community by:

  • protecting the community from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke
  • de-normalising smoking behaviours, which is particularly important for discouraging children from taking up smoking
  • provide residents and visitors with smoke free public areas
  • support people who have recently quit smoking or who are trying to quit smoking by removing smoking visual cues and triggers

Current state government laws are inconsistent for beaches and footpath service areas:

  • Smoking is only banned at lifesaving patrolled beaches and footpath dining areas
  • People can smoke at other beaches and footpath seating where only drinks or snacks are served
  • Smoking is currently not banned in camping areas or bush reserves

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor David Gill said “the benefits to the health of the community and the natural environment are clear, and as part of our commitment to Council’s Public Health and Wellbeing Plan, we’re interested to hear from the community about creating a smoke free Mornington Peninsula.”

“We encourage community members to share their thoughts, questions and concerns about the draft Policy before Monday 7 October,” he said.

“Research has shown that smoking bans at outdoor dining and drinking areas and other smoke free outdoor areas are supported by 73% of Victorians.”

“As well, cigarette butts account for nearly half (48%) of all litter collected across Australia,” he said.

“Council is passionate about creating a healthier, happier and cleaner Mornington Peninsula, and is extremely interested in hearing from the community about their thoughts on the draft Policy.”

Consistent and simple smoke free laws could help reduce second hand smoke exposure, encourage families to use public land and local food retailers, and will greatly reduce the amount of cigarette butt litter.

HOW TO HAVE YOUR SAY

Online
To complete an online form and view the Draft Policy visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay.

Forms will be made available to read in hard copy at the Shire’s offices in Rosebud, Mornington, Hastings and Somerville.

Email
Email your submission to: haveyoursay@mornpen.vic.gov.au with the subject line ‘Draft Smoke Free Environment Policy’.

Post
Attention: Environment Protection Unit
Re: Draft Smoke Free Environment Policy
Mornington Peninsula Shire
Private Bag 1000
ROSEBUD 3939