Tobacco retailers, restaurants and cafes are the focus of regular tobacco education and compliance activities by East Gippsland Shire Council officers.
The organisation’s Environmental Health Unit visits tobacco and e-cigarette retailers, businesses with eating and drinking areas, as well as outdoor areas where smoking is banned to ensure businesses and the general public are following tobacco laws.
Council’s Manager Statutory Services Aaron Hollow said the result of this work is reported to the Department of Health and Human Services twice a year.
“Council has responsibilities under the Tobacco Act 1987, which includes conducting proactive visits to make sure people are complying with the Act, and also reactive visits if we receive a complaint,” Mr Hollow said.
“Our authorised officers undertake tailored education visits, as different venues have different requirements to meet.
“For instance, with retailers we discuss tobacco sales to people under 18, while at childcare centres, kindergartens and schools we discuss the smoking ban that applies near the entrances to these facilities.
“Smoking was banned in outdoor dining areas in August 2017, so we also visit food outlets to speak to them about the requirements and their options for adhering to the ban,” Mr Hollow said.
“This ban also applies to outdoor places where food might be consumed such as markets and festivals.
“We’ve found event organisers have been doing a great job complying with the smoking ban.
“From our inspections, we’re pleased with the level of compliance to tobacco laws in East Gippsland and encourage smokers to only smoke in permitted areas and dispose of cigarette butts properly,” Mr Hollow said.