Tamworth Smoke and E-cigarette Free CBDs

Design Feature
Type of Project
Local Government Initiative
State
New South Wales
Location
Regional

In January 2016, Tamworth Regional Council, in northern New South Wales (NSW) became the first in Australia to launch an inaugural smoke free environment policy which included a city-wide outdoor smoking and electronic cigarette ban.  The policy came about further to a Council motion on 25 November 2014 which requested Council investigate local policy for smoking in public places across the Local Government Area (LGA). 

Policy adoption followed comprehensive community consultation and extensive debate via local and social media over a period of 12 months. Council established a working partnership with local health organisations who worked together to support the process of community engagement, policy development and policy implementation. 

A smoke free city!

The adoption of a smoke free environment policy in November 2015 followed 12 months of planning and community engagement. The policy covered a range of outdoor areas including the Central Business District (CBD)s of Tamworth, Manilla and Barraba.

Let’s Clear the Air – Have your say on Smoke Free Zones was a comprehensive community consultation process led by Council, involving an online interactive community engagement tool called social pinpoint. The project team promoted Let’s Clear the Air using media stories and personally engaging key stakeholders such as shopkeepers who were approached to participate. 

Smoke Free policy presented an opportunity for Tamworth Regional Council to help reduce the high rate of smoking in the local community.
Smoke Free policy presented an opportunity for Tamworth Regional Council to help reduce the high rate of smoking in the local community.

Council received feedback from 1200 residents (1085 online responses and 98 paper surveys) which revealed overwhelming support for CBD-wide bans in addition to a range of other Council areas not covered by the NSW legislation. Policy implementation commenced with the assembly of street signage, media stories and information on the Council website.

Local businesses supported the policy, and advertised with stickers in the windows.
Local businesses supported the policy, and advertised with stickers in the windows.

A face to face survey involving 162 shopkeepers across the three CBDs in August 2017 (administered by Project Team staff/volunteers) served to evaluate the policy and gain feedback with regards to how it might be strengthened.

The new policy had been embraced by most of the community with very good levels of compliance. By creating cleaner, safer and more enjoyable streetscapes, this policy has enhanced these valuable community precincts as great places to meet, socialise and walk. Additional street signage, shop window stickers, coasters for cafes and media stories run periodically are helping to maintain community awareness of the policy.

Project Team 

  • Tamworth Regional Council 
  • Heart Foundation NSW (New England)
  • Tamworth Local Health Committee, Hunter New England Local Health District  
  • North West Cancer Centre, Tamworth Hospital 
  • Cancer Council NSW (New England & North West Area)

Project Cost

Approximate Cost:  $1,700  
Including:

  • Aluminium signage - $940
  • Bin stickers - $403

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