Project background

We are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the community through reducing the harmful effects of smoking and passive smoking through a range of actions guided by our Towards Smoke-free Melbourne policy.

Since 2013 we have created 12 smoke-free areas across the municipality. Our community has told us that they want more smoke-free areas especially at events and public spaces.

Why do we want a smoke-free Melbourne?

We know that smoking is still the biggest contributor to preventable disease and deaths in Australia and there is more work to be done. The most recent data (2015) shows that a total of 20,933 deaths were caused by tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke in a single year in Australia. Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer, accounting for 13% of cancer cases per year in Australia. There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke including second-hand smoke.

Evidence from around the world suggests that a comprehensive and holistic approach to tobacco and smoking control is needed to reduce harm caused by tobacco and e-cigarette products in the community, including a combination of bans and community education.

We recognise that in order to achieve a smoke-free city and reduce the harms of tobacco on our community, we will need to work with and alongside our partners in the Victorian State Government as well as other key stakeholders in health, business and community.

Read our discussion paper and draft policy

Towards Smoke-free Melbourne 2025 draft policy


We propose that in order to achieve a smoke-free Melbourne and reduce the harms of tobacco smoke in the community, action needs to be taken in four domains:
  • Protect

    our community by creating smoke-free areas and events and de-normalise smoking.

    • Expand smoke free areas.
    • Ban and monitor sales to minors.
    • Phased reduction in smoking areas.
  • Educate

    and raise awareness about the harms of tobacco use and benefits of not smoking or quitting.

    • Health promotion and education.
    • Reduce uptake amongst young people.
  • Communicate

    our policy with a focus on people who smoke or, are from diverse backgrounds or have additional needs.

    • Community is aware of the smoke-free policy and smoke-free areas.
    • Targeted communications for vulnerable groups.
  • Regulate

    tobacco use and sale of tobacco, including advertising.

    • Plain packaging and graphic warnings.
    • Restrict advertising.
    • Enforce bans (Activities Local Law and Tobacco Act 1987).
    • Reduce access/affordability of tobacco products or e-cigarettes.

City of Melbourne's role

In order to achieve a smoke-free city we will need to work with and alongside our partners in the Victorian State Government as well as other key stakeholders in health, business and community. See our ambitions and possible actions under each of the four domains:

We will protect people from second-hand smoke and aerosol, discourage tobacco use and de-normalise smoking by expanding smoke-free areas.


Increase the number of smoke-free areas in the municipality.

This could include:

  • City of Melbourne premier and permitted events.
  • High density retail or tourist areas and entry points to rail stations.
  • Public thoroughfares and pedestrianised spaces.
  • Framework developed to assist entities to ban smoking on private land.
  • Include smoking bans in major developments and upgrades.

We will raise awareness of the harms of tobacco use, promote existing behaviour change services and the benefits of quitting.


  • Support and promote existing behaviour change messaging to support people to quit or reduce smoking.
  • Support groups with higher smoking rates - such as young people, homeless and international students.
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with key health promotion organisations to ensure coordinated and evidence based messaging.

This could include:

  • Partner with key health promotion organisations to deliver behaviour change campaigns across a range of media platforms.
  • Implement clear, adequate and effective signage in new smoke-free areas.
  • Develop targeted campaigns to support population groups with higher smoking rates.
  • Use City of Melbourne social media channels to promote smoke-free areas.
  • Work with Victorian State Government bodies to ensure signage from Tobacco Act legislation is adequate at transport stops, playgrounds, education centres etc.

We will promote and increase awareness of our policy with a focus on vulnerable people and those who smoke.


  • Run a communications campaign to promote our policy in the community.
  • Increase compliance through awareness of current smoking and tobacco laws and regulations.

This could include:

  • Develop targeted communications campaigns in partnership with health organisations such as Quit for population groups with higher smoking rates or those more adversely affected by smoking bans, such as Aboriginal communities and those experiencing homelessness.
  • Ensure signage and communications are translated into different languages to ensure policies and laws are understood by culturally and linguistically diverse communities, such as international students.

Maximise the impact of Federal, State and Local legislation to regulate tobacco use and sale of tobacco, including advertising.


  • Enforce smoke-free areas under the Activities Local Law 2019.
  • Enforce tobacco, smoking and e-cigarette regulations under the Tobacco Act 1987.
  • Support Australian Federal Government tobacco and smoking controls.
  • Reduce access to tobacco or vaping products.

This could include:

  • Deliver ‘sales to minor’ program to monitor underage sales of tobacco and vaping products.
  • Advocate to Victorian State Government for further tobacco control policy change.
  • Include ban on tobacco and vaping product sales in City of Melbourne owned or managed sites.

Quick Poll

Do you support the City of Melbourne's approach to move towards a smoke-free city by 2025?

We plan to increase smoke-free areas across the city and make our events smoke-free by 2025.

This poll has concluded.

Total Votes: 167

Smoke-free Melbourne Policy