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.
Suzy Glasby from Scrumptious on Summer Café, welcomes the change.
"Orange is known for its fresh produce and it's great that we're complimenting that with fresh air for our diners," she said.
Rodney Soo from The Cheeky Barista, has also been looking forward to a broader acceptance of supportive environments.
“We support the comfort and health of our customers and their children by being a breastfeeding friendly café and ask that people do not smoke while they are here. It makes sense to me that when we encourage breast feeding, we shouldn’t be encouraging people to smoke around others. It’s a lot less inconvenient for a smoker to wait until they have left our cafe than a mother to pack up the kids and have to move.”
Orangeis 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:
“Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Tobacco, while a killer, is also the most significant contributor to a large range of preventable, chronic, life-limiting conditions in our society.
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’email@example.com