Smoking in banned areas crackdown

Shannon Moscardo (tobacco enforcement officer), Ian Hardinge (tobacco compliance officer) and Chris Woutersz (senior tobacco enforcement officer) at Wagga railway station. Picture: DAILY ADVERTISER

Shannon Moscardo (tobacco enforcement officer), Ian Hardinge (tobacco compliance officer) and Chris Woutersz (senior tobacco enforcement officer) at Wagga railway station. Picture: DAILY ADVERTISER

INSPECTORS will continue to target Albury smokers lighting up in restricted areas.

NSW Health staff visited Albury train station last week and issued five $300 fines and three cautions to people smoking in banned areas.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District tobacco compliance officer Ian Hardinge said train stations, playgrounds and swimming pools would be targeted in a bid to reduce second-hand smoke exposure.

Inspectors do not flag when the crackdowns occur, but Mr Hardinge said they would be held on a regular basis.

“I would expect this type of behaviour to decline,” he said.

“It’s a big change to what people are used to, that’s why we had an 18-month phase-in period.

“We would expect people’s behaviour to change, but it does take time.”

Mr Hardinge said compliance with the laws was “generally pretty good”.

“Signage plays a big part in this,” he said.

“Where signage is good, compliance is very high.

“Part of our visits involve making sure the signage is there.

“A common reaction is that people didn’t know they couldn’t smoke at the location, or just forgot.

“The message is that it’s about reducing second-hand exposure, given the evidence around the harms of second-hand smoke.”

A statewide crackdown on smoking hotspots began in May.

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