From 30 November 2013, local businesses and patrons are taking the initiative in ensuring tastier, healthier meals by clearing the air in preparation for incoming smoke-free legislation.
The new legislation, effective 6 July 2015, will make it mandatory that all outdoor or “alfresco” dining areas become smoke free. This will mark the last stage of implementing the amendments to the Smoke Free Environment Act that came into effect 7 January 2013.
Although venues with alfresco dining have until 2015 before smoke-free areas become mandatory, there is nothing to prevent venues from electing to become smoke-free before this date. Out of concern for the wellbeing of staff and the general public, many businesses throughout the region are supporting the rights of non-smokers (now over 80% of the population) by sending a clear message that smoke is now permanently off the menu.
This initiative supports the health of patrons, staff and their families, while also providing supportive environments for the thousands of ex-smokers working to combat addiction.
Businesses expect to see improvements as a result of this change, as they are catering to an increasing majority of the public who don’t smoke or are in the process of quitting. There is also the attractive prospect of drawing back lost business – those who avoid venues where enjoying the outdoors means exposing friends and family to the smoke of others. From a management perspective, the change will also mean that when smoke-free areas are mandatory in 2015, patrons will already be well adjusted.
Sharon Campbellfrom Salad Run, welcomes the change.
"I think it’s great. I’ve relocated here from Melbourne where these regulations have been in since 2007, so I think it is overdue. My customers can now enjoy their lunch break without having to inhale second hand tobacco smoke and put up with unsightly cigarette ash and/or butts. I also believe the old adage of out of sight out of mind works a treat too."
Dubbo is one of several areas where these changes are taking place. Across the region, Health Promotion Officers are working with businesses and communities to serve up fresh air in the interests of good taste and healthier lives.
The global tobacco epidemic also kills more than 600 000 non-smokers from breathing second-hand smoke. From 7 January 2013 the NSW Smoke-free Environment Act was amended to include legislation making the following area’s smoke free –
- Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in an outdoor public place
- Open areas of swimming pool complexes
- Spectator areas of sports ground or other recreational areas during sporting events
- At public transport stops and stations – rail, tram, ferry, bus, taxi
- Within 4m of a pedestrian entrance to a public access building eg: shopping centres
Western NSW Local Health District Health Promotion Manager Lyndal O’Leary said:
“Taking smoke off the menu is another positive step in the success story of tobacco regulation in Australia, creating healthier environments, healthier people, and a less stretched hospital system.”
For More Information contact: Lyndal O’Leary, Manager Health Promotion, Population Health, Western NSW & Far Western Local Health Districts on 02 6841 2370 / 0429 921 431 or email lyndal.o’firstname.lastname@example.org