Most people know the effects of smoking, but did you know that breathing in other people’s cigarette smoke, known as secondhand smoking can also contribute to heart disease, asthma and lung cancer in non-smokers.

Children are especially vulnerable to passive smoking, and are more prone to respiratory illness, and middle ear disease amongst many other health effects.

Smokefree outdoor dining is on its way…

The good news is that as of Tuesday 1 August 2017, Victorians will be able to enjoy their outdoor dining experience without the drift of tobacco smoke.

Smoking will be banned at ALL outdoor dining areas where meals are being served. This will include:

  • within 4m of food served outdoors at pubs
  • within 10m of food stalls at major events (including festivals and sporting events)
  • at all outdoor spaces where food is served (restaurants, cafes, take-away shops, licenced premises, including courtyard dining areas and footpath dining, as well as community festivals)

The smoking ban however, will not apply where only snacks are served, such as packets of chips or nuts, or uncut fresh fruit.

The research shows that 70% of Victorians1  want outdoor dining and drinking areas that are smokefree. The evidence is also clear, that patronage increases rather than decreases when smokefree dining is implemented.

With the majority of the Victorian population not smoking and wishing to enjoy smokefree dining, it only makes sense that smokefree outdoor dining is implemented. It furthermore helps to protect the community from the effects of secondhand smoking.

The Government’s latest no smoking laws

The new legislation also covers electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). As of the 1 August:

  • e-cigarettes without nicotine will also be banned
  • there will be no smoking/vaping of these products in Victoria’s smokefree spaces
  • e-cigarette advertising will be banned in shops
  • children won’t be able to buy e-cigarettes

The latest outdoor dining laws are not about whether smokers can or can’t smoke, as this is their own individual right, but where they can and can’t smoke. It’s about protecting the whole community from the effects of secondhand smoking.

Still not convinced? Did you know that secondhand smoke contains at least 250 chemicals that are known to be toxic, with more than 50 of these chemicals known to cause cancer? Even brief exposure (in as little as 30 minutes) can cause immediate harm.

If you would like further information about the effects of secondhand smoking, read one of previous posts for all the details.

Until next time, wishing you all great health and wellbeing…

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1. 2010 Cancer Council Victoria Research