Bogan Shire Council has joined a growing list of NSW Local Government Areas in adopting a Smoke Free Outdoor Area (SFOA) policy, to ensure their public spaces support healthy communities.
Bogan Shire Council’s SFOA policy restricts smoking around council playing fields, outdoor sporting fields and grounds, and within 10 metres of children’s playgrounds and Council-owned buildings. Council run and sponsored events are now also smoke free zones.
Bogan Shire Council Mayor, Councillor Ray Donald, said Bogan Shire decided to adopt the SFOA policy as part of their commitment to improve and protect the health of community members, especially young children and those with chronic health conditions such as asthma.
“It is important that families with young children and other community members can use Council facilities without breathing in someone else’s cigarette smoke. We know it’s bad for our health, particularly the health of children”, said Cr Donald.
Health Promotion Officer for Population Health Services in Dubbo, Ms Julie Smith, said 82% of the population are non smokers in NSW. A 2006 survey of 2,400 NSW residents also found 92% of people support bans in playgrounds and 65% of people will avoid places where they are exposed to other peoples smoke.
“There is a community expectation that public spaces are smoke free,” said Ms Smith.
“Second hand smoke contains a toxic mix of potentially carcinogenic substances, which are especially harmful to young children whose bodies are still developing. Young children often can’t move away from second-hand smoke, so we need to protect them from exposure to it.
“I’d like to congratulate the Bogan Shire Council for taking steps to protect the health of their community”, said Ms Smith.
The Bogan Shire Council received an SFOA grant provided by Health Promotion, Population Health Services, NSW Health and the Cancer Council NSW. The funds have been used to post new signage at all prominent positions in open spaces to alert residents that these are now smoke free.
“We are delighted that the Bogan community has embraced this initiative and look forward to seeing everyone reap the benefits,” said Ms Smith.