NSW Health is reminding the community that from 6 July 2015, all commercial outdoor dining areas in NSW, including hotels, clubs, restaurants and cafes will be smoke-free, under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000.
This means staff and patrons of hotels, clubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to work and dine outdoors without being exposed to harmful second-hand tobacco smoke.
Western NSW Local Health District Health Promotion Manager Lyndal O’Leary said NSW Health is working closely with local businesses to help them get ready for smoke-free outdoor dining.
“There is strong public support for making outdoor dining areas smoke-free and a number of businesses have already voluntarily banned smoking in their outdoor dining areas, with positive results,” Ms O’Leary said.
“In fact, our Health District has been working with eateries in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange since the end of 2013 in a campaign promoting smoke-free dining in outdoor areas ahead of the new legislation, which has been very successful”.
Sharon Campbell from Salad Run in Dubbo, 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."
Ms O’Leary said the legislation applies to all ignited smoking products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and water-pipes.
“Under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, smoking will be banned in seated outdoor dining areas while food is being served, with NSW Health Authorised Inspectors able to issue on the spot fines of $300 for individuals and penalties of up to $5500 for occupiers who ignore the ban.
“Since the beginning of 2013, smoking has been banned in a number of outdoor public places including all NSW public transport stops and stations, within 10m of children’s playgrounds, at spectator areas of sporting grounds, at public swimming pools and within 4m of a pedestrian entrance to or exit from a public building, under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000,” she said.
A public notice campaign about smoke-free outdoor dining will start in May. NSW Health invites businesses to register on health.nsw.gov.au/smokefree for updates about smoke-free outdoor dining and to order free materials including an industry guide and mandatory outdoor ‘no smoking’ signage.
For further information regarding NSW Health smoke-free legislation, including smoke-free outdoor dining, please call the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412 or visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/smokefree For information on how to quit smoking, visit www.iCanQuit.com.au or ring the Quitline on 13 78 48.
Media contact: Lyndal O’Leary, Manager Health Promotion, Population Health, Western NSW & Far Western Local Health Districts on 02 6841 2370 / 0429 921 431