Outdoor smoking stinks
BAN SMOKING OUTDOORS
As#debate#rages#over# outdoor#smoking,#the# experts#explain#the#case# for#and#against#an# outright#ban#in# restaurant#courtyards,# playgrounds#and# beaches.# AS summer draws to a close, many Victorians are taking advantage of the warm nights and amazing restaurant scene for which the state is so rightfully celebrated. Unfortunately for many diners, their wish to enjoy an alfresco meal with family is hampered by the constant presence of secondhand smoke.
However, dining outside with an unwelcome side serve of smoke will hopefully soon be a thing of the past in Victoria, with momentum steadily building behind a push for the Victorian
Government to make outdoor
dining and drinking areas smokefree.
This push follows an announcement made by the New
South Wales Government yesterday that smoking in outdoor dining areas will be banned from
2015 and at playgrounds, sports grounds and swimming pools as soon as possible.
Victoria is now the only state in
Australia where no action has been taken in this area.
statewide smoking bans have already been successfully implemented in the
Such a move in
Victoria would certainly be in line with community expectations for clean air, with a 2010 survey by
Cancer Council Victoria finding
70 per cent of adults believe smoking should be banned in outdoor dining areas.
The survey also showed support by a majority of smokers, with 68 per cent disapproving of smoking in outdoor areas where children are present.
Extending smoke-free legislation to outdoor dining and drinking areas, as well as other public places, affords the Victorian
Government the opportunity to further protect the public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke and, importantly, to reduce young people's exposure to smoking behaviour. Smoke-free environments are known to help change perceptions around the acceptability of smoking, which is especially important for children who are influenced by the actions of adults and role models.
If children are exposed to other smokers it can lead them to believe that not only is tobacco use socially acceptable but a higher number of adults smoke than actually do, which is associated with increased teenage smoking. Limiting tobacco use in public reduces the opportunities to smoke, which leads to smokers smoking less and children not seeing smoking as a widespread activity. This "denormalisation" helps in preventing smoking experimentation and the uptake of this deadly and addictive habit among young people.
However, it is not only children and teenagers that benefit from an increase in smoke-free areas. Most smokers would prefer not to smoke, and we know that increasing smoke-free areas results in smokers smoking less and former smokers staying quit.
SMOKERS are, for the most part, very respectful