Victorian health groups welcome smokefree announcement

Monday 4 August, 2014

Victorian health groups have welcomed a commitment from the State Government that all outdoor dining and drinking areas will be made smokefree.

Today’s announcement is also set to reveal that entrances to all public buildings will soon become smokefree.

Quit Victoria Tobacco Control Policy Manager Kylie Lindorff said the organisation will welcome the opportunity to work with government to ensure a comprehensive approach to smokefree outdoor drinking and dining.

“Victorians can all breathe a little easier today knowing that Victoria has committed to putting public health first by creating smokefree drinking and dining areas.”

“Not only will the public benefit from the change, but a comprehensive state-wide ban will also provide a level playing field for traders. We are really talking about a win-win situation here.”

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said the move to make outdoor drinking and dining smokefree would no doubt receive a positive response from the public.

“We know that the overwhelming majority of people are ready and willing to embrace smokefree outdoor drinking and dining. In fact a recent Cancer Council Victoria study, which surveyed more than 4000 Victorians, found one in five Victorians would visit cafes and restaurants more often if a ban was introduced.” 

The Attitudes towards smoking at outdoor dining areas report also found almost half (49%) of Victorians said they had avoided an outdoor dining area due to smoking in the previous year.

Mr Harper said the move was a great announcement for Victorian hospitality workers. 

“Workers in outdoor hospitality areas are entitled to an environment free of smoke, and the announcement today puts that finally within grasp.”

The Heart Foundation’s Victoria CEO Diana Heggie said making more outdoor areas smokefree would protect Victorians from the harms of secondhand smoke.

“Smoking is a major cause of heart disease and cancers, killing thousands of Victorians every year, so we are delighted the government has signalled that it is finally time to protect Victorians from the harms of secondhand smoke.”