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Daily Liberal: Owners of NSW eateries happy with smoking ban

from Kim Bartley, reporting for the Australian Daily Liberal:

With barely a huff or a puff, customers of salad run in Dubbo’s Macquarie Street have accepted owner Sharon Campbell’s decision to ban smoking at outside tables.

The business is among eateries across the Western NSW Local Health District being encouraged to get ahead of new legislation banning smoking in alfresco dining areas from July 6, 2015.

Health promotion officers are reported to be working with businesses and communities to “serve up fresh air in the interests of good taste and healthier lives”.

“Taking smoke off the menu is another positive step in the success story of tobacco regulation in Australia, creating healthier environments, healthier people and a less stretched hospital system,” health district promotion manager Lyndal O’Leary said.

Miss Campbell did not need nudging by the health district.

She came to Dubbo from Melbourne, thinking NSW had already followed Victoria in stubbing out smoking in outdoor dining areas.

When the doors of salad run opened she began dissuading customers from lighting up outside.

“I have only had one person say to me ‘How can you have coffee without a cigarette?’, ” she said.

“My customers can now enjoy their lunch break without having to inhale secondhand tobacco smoke and put up with unsightly cigarette ash and/or butts.”

Miss Campbell said she was “definitely not losing customers” because of the stand.

Owner of salad run in Dubbo, Sharon Campbell, enjoys sitting in the business's smoke-free alfresco dining area. (Louise Donges/Daily Liberal)

The health district reports that businesses “expect to see improvements as a result of this change, as they are catering to an increasing majority of the public who don’t smoke or are in the process of quitting”.

More than 80 per cent of the population do not smoke.

The ban effective from the middle of 2015 represents the “last stage” of amendments to the Smoke-Free Environment Act 2000.

This year the act was amended to stop smoking within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in an outdoor public place; in open areas of swimming pool complexes, and spectator areas of sports grounds or other recreational areas during sporting events.

Smoking is also prohibited at public transport stops and stations, including rail, tram, ferry and taxi, and within four metres of a pedestrian entrance to a public building, such as a shopping centre.

5 Dec 2013

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