NSW Pushes Smoke-Free Sports Venues in Anti-Vaping Drive

1 June 2024

By The Mirage

Western NSW Local  Health District’s  Health Promotion Team is partnering with Narromine Shire Council to help ensure community sporting venues across the local government area (LGA) are kept smoke and vape free, as the next step in the Narromine Anti-Vaping Intervention (NAVI) pilot project.

The NAVI project aims to increase knowledge around the risks of vaping and promote pathways to quit in the Narromine LGA, particularly among young people, by working with key community partners to develop and implement intervention strategies.

Health Promotion Officer Emma Fitzgerald said new ‘no smoking, no vaping’ signs will be installed at sporting fields across Narromine, Trangie and Tomingley on Friday 31 May, coinciding with World No Tobacco Day.

“By law, vape-free areas are the same as smoke-free areas. At community venues like sporting grounds and facilities it is incredibly important to build a healthy environment, because there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke or vapour,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“So along with installing signage, we are also working closely with sporting clubs and user groups to provide them with ‘Vaping Leaves You Breathless’ toolkits, which includes information, posters and other promotional items to help them keep their members and community informed.”

Narromine Shire Council General Manager Jane Redden said building a healthy environment at sporting venues is a whole-of-community effort, thanking the sporting clubs and user groups which have supported this initiative and will lead by example.

“The Smoke-Free Environment Act applies during all training sessions, organised events and the duration of any sporting games at facilities, and we’re thrilled to see so many local clubs and groups committed to making a difference,” Ms Redden said.

“These laws were designed to provide our community with a healthier environment, so we’re calling on people to take individual responsibility and utilise the resources provided to better understand the rules and keep our facilities free of second-hand smoke and vapour.”

Ms Fitzgerald said the installation of new signage builds on initiatives which have already been put in place since the NAVI pilot project began in mid-2023, including the development and implementation of support strategies in collaboration with Narromine High School.

“We worked with Narromine High School, Narromine  Health Service and a number of other local partners to co-design the NAVI project, as we recognised a lack of understanding of the harms and risk associated with vaping, particularly in young people,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“Last year, we hosted a number of education sessions and conducted surveys at Narromine High School focusing on building an understanding of the dangers of vaping to empower students to make informed life choices.

“These sessions have helped us develop a range of anti-vaping strategies which have been put in place at Narromine High School and more broadly across the town, and we will continue to share the learnings across local schools to build additional support and education for young people.

“As we continue the NAVI pilot project in Narromine, we will begin evaluating its success and effectiveness across the area, which will allow us to determine and plan how the project could be replicated or implemented in a similar way across other areas of our District.”

The NSW Quitline (13 78 48) is a free, confidential service which provides information and support to quit smoking or vaping, and advisors can provide advice to family and friends looking to support someone to quit. Aboriginal counsellors are available.

Narromine  Health Service, local GPs and the Narromine Pharmacy have supported the NAVI pilot project and are also available to provide advice and support to people in the area wanting to quit smoking or vaping.

More information on the harms associated with vaping can be found at www.health.nsw.gov.au/vaping.