Vaping could force updates to no-smoking signs in Sydney’s boroughs and university campuses

Brooks hoped attention to more targeted signage could provide a shift as it works with NSW Health to review smoke-free signage to reduce confusion.


“Unlike smoking, the effects of second-hand vaping are not well established,” she said.

“But if we go back to what we’ve learned from smoking, you might imagine that inhaling a bunch of used chemicals and toxins can’t be good.”

Mosman Council’s decision comes after Northern Beaches Council considered updating the signage at a February meeting of its Community Safety Advisory Committee. However, it chose to wait for NSW Health to offer its advice on an industry standard.

While the Inner West Council has not changed its signage, with specific no-smoking areas automatically applying as well as vaping under the NSW Act, a spokesman said its staff were taking an “educational approach” where it was necessary to enforce this.

Since 2019, the University of Sydney has updated some of their no-smoking area signs on campus to clarify that they also prohibit vaping.

“Not all external signs have been replaced to specifically mention vaping, but they will be included when signs are, of course, renewed,” a university spokesman said.

“No smoking” signs at UNSW, UTS, and Macquarie University do not specifically mention vaping.

Speaking at a forum hosted by the Cancer Council last week, NSW Health Secretary Brad Hazzard said he was concerned at adults vaping freely in areas where the practice is technically prohibited.

“When there’s a no-smoking sign in a certain area, people don’t understand that vaping is covered by the same legal requirements,” he said.

Hazzard, who is retiring after next weekend’s state election, said he was open to tighter restrictions on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes in NSW – particularly plain packaging laws – if backed by health advice.

Occupational health spokesman Ryan Park told the forum he was also open to further regulation of vaping if backed by health advice.

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Justin Scacco

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