Butts out as another club goes smoke free

Smokes ban: Mt Eliza junior footballers will benefit from strict no-smoking rules.

Smokes ban: Mt Eliza junior footballers will benefit from strict no-smoking rules.

MT ELIZA Junior Football Club has developed a smoke-free policy and signed the Frankston-Mornington Peninsula Smoke Free Charter.

It is the first of 14 clubs in the Frankston and District Junior Football league to draw the line against smoking by signing up.

It follows the Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League, which signed up in February, and the Mt Martha Junior Football Club, which signed up last year.

Mt Eliza has 28 teams and is reportedly the largest junior sporting club across the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula.

Its decision to extend the policy past the 10-metre legislation demonstrates a strong message to its players, families, volunteers and visitors, according to Peninsula Health’s health promotion practitioner Andie Murphy.

“Prohibiting smoking around young people helps to discourage them from taking up smoking,” she said. “Secondhand smoke causes a number of diseases in children and adults who do not smoke. The more second-hand smoke you are exposed to, the higher your risk of disease.”

The charter is regarded as a statement of commitment to raise awareness of the harmful effects caused by tobacco smoke and to address the significantly higher smoking rates within the club’s catchment.

“Victorian rates of smoking are 13 per cent. Frankston and Mornington Peninsula region rates are between 21-30 per cent,” Ms Murphy said.

Mt Eliza Junior Football Club president Fraser Bayne endorsed the decision. “As part of the club’s ongoing commitment to providing a healthy and fun environment for our kids to play footy, [we] are pleased to announce the implementation of the smoke free charter.”

Peninsula Health encourages sporting clubs, leagues and associations to become smoke free. Those interested in taking a stand should contact Ms Murphy at amurphy@phcn.vic.gov.au.

Peninsula Health has quit smoking support services at Frankston, Rosebud, Mornington and Hastings. For a face-to-face appointment call 1300 665 781, or call Quitline 13 78 48 or visit quitnow.gov.au

First published in the Mornington News – 24 May 2016