Smoking ban for Cottesloe coastline


Cottesloe Beach Photo by Razia Osmani

Razia Osmani, Reporter

The Town of Cottesloe has reached a unanimous verdict to ban smoking along its coastline, becoming the third local government in Perth to do so, joining the Joondalup and Cockburn Councils in having smoke-free beaches.

Councillor for the Town of Cottesloe Sally Pyvis said in the meeting, “it’s about promoting Cottesloe’s entire beachfront as a smoke-free zone, it’s not about a heavy-handed approach to infringing people, it’s not about additional rangers or dedicated signage, it is about public education of raising the awareness that smoking in public places impacts the environment, especially the marine environment and other people.”

The Executive Director of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) Maurice Swanson, echoed those same words and told NewsVineWA, “the smoking ban by the Town of Cottesloe on all their beaches is highly applauded by the Australian Council on Smoking and Health.”

The ACOSH has been in existence since 1971 and it currently has a 39 member organisation, many of them are medical, some are community-based organisations, others are educational organisations, and they have been advocating for controls on tobacco particularly in the area of marketing and promotion of tobacco.

“Also in the area of restrictions regarding where people can smoke, and also in terms of the price of tobacco. This is because when you look at the published evidence, if you want to get a community-wide significant decrease in the number of people smoking you have to implement community-wide measures, not just focus on individual smokers because that is a recipe for failure,” Swanson added.

Manager of Make Smoking History WA Libby Jardine told NewsVineWA, “Cancer Council WA (CCWA) is very supportive of this public health measure that supports our cancer prevention initiatives. This would help current smokers to quit and protect the health of the community, particularly children.

“According to a recent survey of WA smokers conducted by CCWA, nearly half of the smokers who were actively trying to quit thought it would be helpful to have more public smoke-free outdoor areas. Smoking is not the norm in WA, with under 10% smoking daily.”

State legislation currently states no smoking is permitted between the flags on patrolled beaches.

“These sorts of policies are generally self-enforcing and it’s excellent that the Cottesloe Council will be strengthening this. We know that the clear majority of smokers would not want to subject others to second-hand smoke,” Jardine added.

The research from Cancer Council WA shows the health risks of second-hand smoke, which include heart disease and lung cancer for adults and asthma and lower respiratory tract infections for children. Good signage and public education will be important in the implementation of smoke-free beaches. There’s support for these policies nationally. A 2015 survey of the NSW general public reported that 79% of respondents supported making beaches smoke-free, and that non-smokers and younger people were more likely to be supportive of making beaches smoke-free.

A media spokesperson for the Town of Cottesloe told NewsVineWA that, “on Tuesday night the Town voted to move ahead with a smoking ban on Cottesloe beaches, however, the next step is a public submission period, which will commence soon.”

If you would like to make a submission click here for updates on when the submission period commences.