A Tobacco Free WA by 2025
We seek the commitment from WA Local Governments to achieve a Tobacco Free Western Australia by 2025 by incorporating tobacco control as part of the Public Health Plan. ACOSH would like to continue supporting the work already being done by Local Governments and recommends the following priority areas and actions.
1. Public Education Campaigns
- Incorporate information about the harms of tobacco and benefits of smoke-free environments in your Council E-newsletter, website and other communications to raise awareness among your staff, Councillors and community members; and
- Utilise the World No Tobacco Day (31 May) and other health-related key dates as an opportunity to raise awareness of harms of smoking and promote specific smoke-free events within your staff, Councillors and community members through Community Development and Art programs. Make Smoking History and your Population Health Service would be able to assist you.
2. Reduce smoking among Indigenous Australians and disadvantaged groups
- When possible, promote and refer Indigenous community members to the local Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) programme within your local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service for effective quitting support; and
- Encourage Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and Aboriginal community groups receiving City Council’s funding and/or using your facilities (meeting rooms, parks, pools, etc.) to implement smoke-free initiatives.
3. Stronger enforcement of the legislation to prohibit sales to minors
- In the absence of State reforms, liaise with the WA Department of Health to conduct periodical monitoring and enforcement of the legislation that prohibits sales to minors within your Local Government area. When retailers are found to be selling tobacco to minors, recommend the WA Department of Health to cancel the licence. ACOSH can help support Local Governments by providing information and resources that can help you advocate within your jurisdiction.
4. Reduce the availability of tobacco and increase licence fees for tobacco sellers
- Seek a Council resolution to advocate to the WA Department of Health to reduce the availability of tobacco within your Local Government area. ACOSH can support you by providing evidence and guidance.
5. Eliminate community exposure to secondhand smoke
- Extend smoke free areas to outdoor public venues including public transport waiting areas, taxi ranks, outdoor child care facilities, City’s ticketed events, the City Business District, pedestrian malls, shopping centre entrances, among others;
- Limit the use of electronic cigarettes in areas where smoking combustible cigarettes is prohibited;
- Encourage not-for-profit organisations and community groups that receive funding from the City Council and/or use City Council’s venues (meeting rooms, parks, pools, etc.) to implement smoke-free events;
- Encourage the Environmental Health team to monitor the exposure to secondhand smoke during inspections to hostels and other public venues during regular inspections.
- Contact the Department of Health for free smoke-free signage. ACOSH can assist through Small Community Incentives with funding for smoke-free signage and policy development.
6. Encourage ethical investments and reject any donations from the tobacco industry
- Encourage your staff and Councillors to invest ethically, and ensure Council funds are not invested in tobacco companies. The City of Melbourne is the first Local Government that decided to disinvest their funds from the tobacco industry. Read the case study: The City of Melbourne Disinvests from Tobacco Industry.
- More information can be found in the ACOSH’s document ‘Risk of tobacco investments and why states, territories, super fund and investors should divest’.
By linking these measures (that are ‘business as usual’) to your Public Health Plan, these actions are reportable to your Executive Council and support the health and wellbeing of your community.
Click here to download the flyer: Six Actions for Local Governments: A Tobacco Free WA by 2025
The video below is from the ACOSH World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) short video series featuring tobacco control experts. Number two in the series features Mr Vic Andrich, President | Environmental Health Australia (WA) and ACOSH Secretary. Mr Andrich talks about how local government can further reduce the prevalence of smoking.