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Shire bans smoking in outdoor dining areas

23 June 2011

A local council in Victoria’s south-east has become the first in the state to put a blanket ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.

Baw Baw Shire councillors voted in favour of the ban on Wednesday, and it also stretches to playgrounds, sporting fields and some pedestrian areas.

Quit director Fiona Sharkie says the ban reflects shifting community values on smoking.

“Cancer Council Victoria research shows over three-quarters (77 per cent) of Victorians believe smoking shouldn’t be allowed in outdoor areas where children are present while seven out of 10 Victorians believe smoking shouldn’t be allowed in outdoor restaurant dining areas,” Ms Sharkie said.

“The majority of Victorians want smoke-free outdoor areas so it’s only natural they should become more commonplace.”

Heart Foundation Victoria chief executive Kathy Bell believes the ban has the potential to lower smoking take-up rates among children raised in the shire.

“Smoke-free environments de-normalise smoking so children are less likely to see smoking, less likely to start smoking and therefore less likely to suffer from the negative effects of tobacco use.”

Smoking is already banned in playgrounds and beaches of some local government areas in Victoria

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