NSW has three months to go until smoke-free outdoor dining comes in

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MIL OSI – Source: New South Wales Health – State Government – Three months to go until smoke-free outdoor dining comes in

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.

NSW Health Director of the Centre for Population Health, Dr Jo Mitchell, 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,” she said.

The outdoor dining area at the Shop 3 Coffee café in Gosford has already gone smoke-free. Proprietor, Steven Scalvos said making the change had been positive and suited customers.

Dr Mitchell said the legislation applies to all ignited smoking products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and water-pipes.

The Sahra Restaurant in Parramatta has also already phased out smoking, including water-pipes, from their outdoor dining area. Proprietor, Talal Alamein, implemented the change because, as a grandfather, he is concerned about the harm of smoking to future generations.

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.

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.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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