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.

Victoria lags behind…

Unfortunately when it comes to smokefree dining in outdoor and drinking areas, Victoria lags behind other states and territories who have already implemented such measures.

From the 1 October 2013 to the end of March 2014, The City of Melbourne trialed a ban on outdoor smoking in The Causeway Lane with great success. It is now permanently smokefree with the Council keen to ban outdoor smoking in six more areas in the CBD, in the coming year.

Would a total ban in the CBD work?

But is banning smoking in particular laneways in the CBD enough? What about a total ban in the CBD, would this work? Such a move would be difficult to police. Instead, what is needed is that all outdoor dining areas across Victoria become smokefree.

The research shows that 70% of Victorians* 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.

This is not about whether smokers can or can’t smoke, as this is their own individual right. What this debate is about, is where smokers can and can’t smoke.

With the majority of the Victorian population not smoking and wishing to enjoy smokefree dining, it only makes sense that smokefree dining is placed on the agenda and implemented.

The Government’s latest no smoking laws

The Government is keen to protect the community from the effects of secondhand smoking, with smoking currently not allowed at:

  • train stations
  • covered bus shelters
  • raised platform tram stops
  • within 10 meters of children’s playgrounds
  • skate parks
  • at patrolled beaches
  • at outdoor swimming complexes
  • at sporting venues
  • in cars carrying children under the age of 18

With such strong measures already in place, isn’t it time smokefree dining was next?

Like and share this post if you agree, and if you want the Victorian Government to move forward and implement outdoor smokefree dining, where you can enjoy a meal or drink, without the drift of tobacco smoke.

* 2010 Cancer Council Victoria Research

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