Smoking Off The Menu In Outdoor Diners

15:29' 02-08-2017
New laws came into force on 1 August to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas. The ban covers all restaurants, cafés, take-away shops and licenced premises, including beer gardens, courtyards and footpath dining where food, other than snacks, is served.

    Outdoor smoking will be banned at eateries in some Melbourne laneways, but the lord mayor is calling for a city-wide ban.

    Photo: theage.com.au

    Smoking will also be banned at food fairs and organised outdoor events such as street and community festivals, local school fetes, sporting events or craft markets where there are food stalls.

    “Second-hand smoking”, or breathing the smoke from other people's cigarettes, has long been recognised as a major health hazard for non-smokers. About 4,000 lives are lost each year in Victoria due to smoking, costing $2.4 billion in healthcare costs and lost productivity.

    It is hoped these bans mean more people can enjoy outdoor meals in a healthy, smoke-free environment, and the reduced visibility of smokers will also help people to stop seeing smoking as normal.

    Individuals caught smoking in an outdoor dining area face a fine of $159, with a maximum court ordered penalty of $793.

    Businesses face fines of $793, with a maximum court ordered penalty of $7,924. The same fine applies to businesses failing to display “no smoking” signs.

    The government has provided businesses with plenty of support to prepare for this move, including a Tobacco Information Line, guides and factsheets, and around 330,000 free “no smoking” signs. Local councils have also received financial support to help enforce the bans, including training sessions for council officers and local law officers.

    The bans are also promoted across radio, social media, search engines, and on street furniture.

    “Victoria has a vibrant outdoor café culture,” says Minister for Health Jill Hennessy. “We are lucky to have some of the best chefs serving up scrumptious food in our colourful hidden laneways and popular beer gardens. Now, thanks our new laws, smoking is off the menu.”

    Span Hanna

     

     

     

     

     

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Keywords: jill hennessyoutdoor dining areassmoking

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