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Calls for more smoking bans in Victoria

22 Feb 2012

Victoria is under pressure to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas after NSW unveiled plans for new restrictions.

Smoking in outdoor dining areas will be banned in NSW from 2015 and in playgrounds, sports grounds and swimming pools as soon as possible.

Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie called for a smoking ban in outdoor dining areas and further restrictions on lighting up in outside drinking venues, such as beer gardens.

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“Now we see it is only Victoria and South Australia that haven’t made these type of moves,” she said yesterday.

“We have been talking to the health minister about that.”

A recent Cancer Council Victoria survey indicated 70 per cent of the 4500 respondents supported a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.

“It’s something that clearly the public are saying that they would like to see happen,” Ms Sharkie said.

The body representing local councils, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), delivered an outdoor smoking framework to the government late last year calling for a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.

MAV president Bill McArthur said several local councils had introduced rules banning smoking in public places, such as playgrounds and outdoor eating areas, and there should be consistency across the state.

“(We need) a policy right across Victoria so that there is no confusion and it keeps us up to pace with what’s happening in other states,” he said.

Health Minister David Davis is due to meet with the MAV soon to discuss the proposed ban.

“The state government is very committed to lowering smoking levels and that’s a longer term project for Victorians,” Mr Davis told reporters.

“We support the council trials that are in operation. We are assessing the merits of the different approaches adopted by different councils.

“In this area it’s very important to take steps that have broad support and do so in a way that is guaranteed to get the outcome that’s required.”

Cancer Council Victoria chief executive Todd Harper said tobacco smoke was a health hazard particularly for people working in smokey environments.

He said further restrictions on smoking were also crucial to protect children.

“The more children are exposed to adults smoking around them the more they start to see smoking as a normalised behaviour,” he said.


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