Smoking and sport

Having a smoke-free club or designated smoke-free areas can help keep members and guests safe and healthy.

No Smoking sign

The risks of tobacco

Unlike decades ago, we now know just how harmful and addictive smoking is. Smoking cigarettes has been linked to cancer and other health problems.

Nicotine is the psychoactive ingredient in tobacco. It’s a stimulant drug that speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and body. Tar and carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) are also released when tobacco is burned, such as when smoking.

Passive smoking, also known as second-hand smoke, can also cause harm. This is why it’s important for anyone smoking to do so away from children, babies and pregnant women.

Having a smoke-free club is a great way to keep everyone safe and healthy. Having smoke-free areas is another option for clubs.

Local sporting clubs and sporting organisations are great roles models, especially for junior members or families who visit. That’s why many clubs see the importance of promoting health and wellbeing by reducing smoking.

Why sport and cigarettes don't mix

There are plenty of reasons to ditch cigarettes – family, friends, health. Not to mention how much they cost.

Here’s one more good reason to give up the cigarettes. Making sure on game day your performance isn’t affected.

Smoking interferes with your body’s ability to function:

  • Your lungs work less efficiently and cannot absorb the amount of oxygen your body needs to function. Tobacco smoke contains a chemical (carbon monoxide) that prevents the blood stream picking up oxygen.
  • Tobacco smoke contains other chemicals that also affect the circulation of blood, restricting blood vessels so they are less able to carry oxygen when your body is burning up large amounts of energy.
  • Because smoking decreases the body’s ability to transport oxygen to those areas that need it when playing sport, people who smoke tend to have less endurance and find it hard to keep up high levels of fitness.
  • At first you may not notice much difference, but the more you smoke and the longer you smoke the more you will notice its effect on you.

Quitting is the best policy

Including smoking management in your policy makes it easier to say no when someone lights up. It will also help you to stay on the right side of non-smoking laws that affect your club. These vary from state to state.

Having smoking included in your policy helps your club to meet its duty of care. It means that you’re looking out for the health and safety of your members, volunteers and visitors.

Second-hand smoke

Environmental or second-hand tobacco smoke is a serious health hazard.

A smoke-free environment is the best way to provide effective protection from second-hand smoke for your members, guests and volunteers.

Role modeling

Players, coaches and spectators are not just club leaders. They are community role models.

By banning or limiting smoking, you will help to make smoking less visible and acceptable. This can directly contribute to a reduced uptake of smoking among young people.

Support those trying to quit

Smoke-free areas are not only beneficial for non-smokers, they also support people who are trying to quit.

By making smoking less of a social outlet at your club, there will be less incentive to light up.

Reduce litter

With designated smoking areas in place, litter is confined to a smaller area and can be better controlled with ash trays and bins.

With reduced litter, there is a reduced fire risk and children are less likely to pick up discarded butts.

Community leader

As community leaders, local sporting clubs have a responsibility to promote healthy behaviour to members and guests.

Becoming a smoke-free club is evidence that you care about everyone’s health and wellbeing. This can help to attract new members and promote your club in the community.

Signs and posters promoting a smoke-free environment also send a message about your club’s values.