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Smoking is off the menu

Smoking off the menu

News Article Date: 
Friday, 4 August 2017

Under new State Government legislation, smoking is now banned at all outdoor dining areas where food is available.

Warrnambool Mayor Kylie Gaston welcomed the ban, which came into effect on August 1.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy a meal outdoors without being surrounded by secondhand smoke which is both unpleasant to smell and dangerous to inhale,” she said.

“There is no safe level of secondhand smoke, and children are particularly susceptible to its ill effects.

“This will also help to de-normalise smoking for impressionable young people and support those who have recently quit smoking or are trying to quit.”

The ban will cover all outdoor dining areas if food, other than snacks, is provided at restaurants, cafes, take-away shops and licensed premises, including beer gardens, courtyards and footpath dining.

Smoking will still be permitted in outdoor areas where only drinks and snacks are provided. A snack is defined as shelf-stable foods that are pre-packaged and do not require any preparation.

To protect smoke drift, outdoor drinking areas must be separated from outdoor dining areas by a 4m buffer zone or a wall that is at least 2.1m high.

Smoking is also banned at events where the sale and consumption of food is the main activity, as well as within 10m of food stalls at all other outdoor events.

As part of the new legislation, e-cigarettes have been banned at all places where smoking is banned.

Smoking costs Victoria $2.4 billion each year in healthcare costs and lost productivity, and remains the leading cause of preventable death and chronic disease.

Council has been a leader in providing healthy environments for the community, by banning smoking at all Council managed buildings, facilities, precincts and sporting grounds from 2014.

Smoking rates have halved in the Warrnambool City Council municipality over recent years – from 21.4 per cent in 2008 to 9.7 per cent in 2015.

For more information visit www.health.vic. gov.au/public-health/tobacco-reform.

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