SMOKING will be banned near playgrounds and entrances to council buildings across the Macedon Ranges from July.
It will make Macedon Ranges the first rural council in the state to have smoke-free parks, reserves and sports grounds.
A voluntary program for alfresco dining areas will also be introduced, where traders receive council endorsements for operating smoke-free outdoor businesses.
Only one rural council in Victoria, Baw Baw, has banned smoking in alfresco dining areas and only two have banned smoking in playgrounds.
The smoke-free outdoor areas policy, which received unanimous support from councillors at last Wednesday's meeting, will be implemented in two stages.
A 10-metre smoke-free zone around playgrounds in council parks and reserves will apply in the initial phase. As well, there will be a five-metre zone around council building entrances.
The second phase includes the introduction of a 10-metre smoke-free zone around council recreation areas and sports grounds, including clubrooms and council-run or sponsored outdoor events.
More than 280 people responded to a survey about smoke-free areas in the shire, with 94 per cent supporting bans in playgrounds, while 74 per cent said they would be more inclined to dine-in smoke-free alfresco areas.
Seventy-four per cent favoured the introduction of a statewide outdoor smoke-free policy.
Mayor Henry McLaughlin, who made the initial push for the introduction of smoke-free outdoor areas in May last year, was thrilled it had finally come to fruition.
"From the feedback we received from the community, it's clear this policy is something they want," he said.
"Council officers doorknocked every business which could be affected by this policy and 81 per cent supported no smoking in alfresco dining areas.
"I've got four young children and, like many others, they will now be able to visit playgrounds without being engulfed in second-hand smoke. Businesses that nominate as smoke-free outdoor dining areas will receive marketing materials and also be listed on the council's website."
Heart Foundation (Victoria) chief executive Kathy Bell welcomed the council's stance.
"Smoke-free outdoor areas help make smoking less visible to young people so they're less likely to take up smoking. It also helps smokers trying to quit to reach that goal."
Quit executive director Fiona Sharkie said 70 per cent of Victorians supported a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.
"Victoria is now the only state in the country that has not already introduced or announced an intention to introduce smoke-free alfresco areas," she said.
"We applaud Macedon Ranges for showing leadership in this area, but it's time for the state government to step in and legislate for smoke-free alfresco dining."
Cr McLaughlin said the policy would be backed by extensive signage and an educational program before enforcement.