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Smoking is off the menu

Smoking ban sign

Thursday 27 July 2017

From Tuesday 1 August smoking will be banned in outdoor dining areas, bringing Victoria in line with all other Australian states.

The Tobacco Amendment Act 2016 is designed to protect the community from the harms of second hand tobacco smoke and increase the comfort and enjoyment of non-smokers dining in outdoor areas.

The amendment also aims to de-normalise smoking behaviours, which is particularly important for discouraging children from taking up smoking.

“Evidence suggests the earlier a person starts smoking, the more likely they will become a heavier, more addicted smoker and develop tobacco related illnesses,” said Tracey Watson, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Along with deterring children from smoking, the new law will support those who have recently quit smoking or who are trying to quit by removing visual cues and triggers.

There is widespread public support for smoke-free outdoor dining. Victoria is the last Australian state to implement a smoking ban in outdoor dining areas.

Ms Watson said the change in legislation also regulates the use of e-cigarettes.

“From August, the use of e-cigarettes and smoking shisha tobacco will be banned in areas where smoking is banned, including outdoor dining areas,” said Ms Watson.

Council officers can issue on-the-spot infringement penalties to smokers and businesses, from over $150 to around $800 respectively, who do not comply.

Businesses and event organisers can learn more about their responsibilities at www.health.vic.gov.au. For assistance and advice on how to quit smoking visit www.quit.org.au or phone 137 848.

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