Objectives: Smoke-free environments have been one of the great success stories in tobacco control in Australia. In this paper, we describe the current situation with respect to smoke-free environments in Australia, identify opportunities for extending and/or strengthening smoke-free environments, and discuss the challenges alternative nicotine delivery devices such as e-cigarettes pose to the traditional notion of ‘smoke-free’.
Type of program: Smoke-free environments are an essential element in a comprehensive approach to tobacco control. They are recognised in the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and in the Australian National Tobacco Strategy.
Results: There is strong evidence that smoke-free environments support smokers to make a quit attempt, support ex-smokers to maintain their resolve, and protect the health of non-smokers and ex-smokers alike.
Lessons learnt: Smoke-free environments have contributed to reductions in smoking prevalence. They are not yet fully deployed in public policy in Australia, and policy makers should extend smoke-free environments to areas such as high-roller rooms in casinos, prisons, residential mental health facilities and multi-unit residences. E-cigarettes are challenging the ways we think about ‘smoke-free’, and have the capacity to undermine smoke-free successes if regulation does not prevent their use in smoke-free environments.