Smokers in Australia may face new bans

The Australian government is confronting new pressure to implement smoking ban in outdoor dining places with the Greens established to create a private members bill in Parliament this week.

Greens MP Colleen Hartland said the government was waiting too long to implement bans that were now set up.

Smoking Women

Two smoking women

On November 26, the opposition and government rejected to state whether they accepted outdoor smoking bans. A spokesperson for Health Minister David Davis said the government was examining advance alternatives for regulatory reform in discussion with major stakeholders, after prohibiting smoking at patrolled beaches.

Along with prohibiting smoking in outdoor dining and drinking places, the proposed regulations would as well ban smoking within 10 metres of children’s playgrounds and within 4 metres of entrances to public buildings and public transport stations.

The measure rises eight months after a coalition of Victorian health groups including the Australian Medical Association, Cancer Council, Heart Foundation and Quit suggested the government follow such bans as a subject of priority.

In the course of the 2010 state election campaign, then Ted Baillieu said that he would accept prohibiting smoking in public areas if health groups suggested it.

In October this year, the government declared that it would ban smoking on patrolled beaches, with fines of $140 for anybody who smoke between the flags or within 50 metres.

Health groups said the move did not go far enough. It as well clashed with current bans by local councils including Surf Coast Shire, where smoking is prohibited on beaches, including Torquay and Anglesea.

Ms Hartland said statewide regulations were required to prevent confusion established by local councils striking out on their own to implement numerous outside smoking bans.

West Gippsland’s Baw Baw Shire is the only council that has implemented smoking bans in outdoor dining places after a trial that was lasting a year.

Boroondara Council has prohibited smoking near playgrounds, taxi ranks, bus and tram stations, and Monash Council has prohibited smoking at sportsgrounds and public swimming pools.

Smoking near playgrounds is as well prohibited in the cities of Melbourne, Yarra and Hobsons Bay.

Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said a arge number of Victorians backed bans on smoking in outdoor dining places, which had aided to attract more customers and prompted smokers to give up smoking in other states.

She said outdoor smoking bans would avoid exposure to secondhand smoke for non-smokers, help people who had cigarettes avoid relapsing.

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