Department of Education's Smoking and Vaping Ban: VicSRC responds

VicSRC welcomes the Department of Education's new Smoking & Vaping Ban Policy that was released on March 4.


The Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) welcomes the Department of Education's prioritisation of student Voice in the new Smoking and Vaping Ban by ensuring that use or possession of a vape does not result in suspension or seizing property.

The Department of Education's new policy was updated on March 4, 2024. The policy dictates that in Victoria, "a person must not smoke or vape on school premises or within 4 metres of any pedestrian access point to school premises." This prohibition applies to all vaping devices, even if it does not contain nicotine.

The policy further state that "suitable" signage needs to be available at all pedestrian entrances on school grounds, and that this rule applies to students even during events or excursions off school premises.

Use or possession of an e-cigarette does not fall under any of the grounds of suspension for a student.

Co-chair for the VicSRC Student Executive Advisory Committee, Marley (he/him), says "the new approach of not suspending students for possession or use of vapes not only reflects perspectives that students may have on vaping and e-cigarettes, but also what will benefit students and schools in tackling this nation-wide problem."

A focus on re-education and supporting students should be the priority, as this "will make a massive difference in getting vaping out of schools".

VicSRC's Policy and Advocacy Manager William Naughton-Gravatte says the "new guidance today reflects students’ perspectives on vaping at school: punitive measures don’t work and students need access to support measures to help them deal with addiction".

"VicSRC students worked with the Department of Education in 2023 to shape this guidance. We’re pleased to see them prioritising the voices of students in developing policies which affect them."

For more information on the Department's policy, visit the Smoking and Vaping Ban: Policy page on the Department of Education website.