Jill Hennessy, the Victorian health minister, has announced that all outdoor dining areas in the state will become smoke free as of August 2017.
The two year lead up has been designed to give operators ample time to start introducing the legislative changes before the ban comes into effect in 2017.
Hennessy told reporters that, “We want to reduce the visibility of smokers, we want to de-normalise smoking for young people – we’ve got to challenge around 80% of smokers taking up smoking before they’re 18.”
Todd Harper, chief executive of the Victorian Cancer Council, said that at the present time 13% of Victorians smoke at a cost of $2 billion to the state’s healthcare system. Research conducted by the Cancer Council shows that 73% of Victorians are in favour of the ban.
Mr Harper said, “Ultimately, how effective the smoke-free laws are will be seen in how well they protect hospitality workers from tobacco smoke, because they are the ones who spend the most time in these environments.”
Source : The Guardian, 23 August 2015