Victoria is banning smoking in outdoor dining areas

Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The Victoria will ban smoking in outdoor dining areas from 1 August, 2017.

The Andrews government announced yesterday that it’s giving business two years to adapt to the change. The ban covers all outdoor dining areas at restaurants, cafes, take-away shops and licenced premises and is expected to affect around 22,000 businesses.

“It’s important that businesses have enough time to prepare for these changes,” Victorian health minister Jill Hennessy said.

“We know that second-hand smoke puts the health of non-smokers at risk. These new bans will ensure all Victorians can enjoy a meal outside with their family and friends.”

The government argues the ban will also reduce the visibility of smokers and de-normalise smoking for young people.

Smoking is now banned at many public building entrances, train stations and raised platform tram stops, in cars carrying children, and within 10 metres of playgrounds and skate parks, sporting venues during under 18s events, and within public swimming pool grounds.

Earlier this year, Melbourne City Council created several smoke-free areas in the CBD, including four laneways: Block Place, Howey Place, Equitable Place and The Causeway, and the Andrews government brought forward bans on smoking within 4 metres of the entrances to public hospitals and community health services, schools, childcare centres, kindergartens and preschools, and many government buildings including Parliament, courts and police stations.

NSW introduced similar laws in seated outdoor dining areas last month.

Around 13% of Victorians smoke and Cancer Council research showing 73% of state’s residents support the ban. Smoking bans in enclosed restaurants in Victoria began in 2001.

This latest crackdown on smokers will be enforced by local councils, and individuals caught smoking face on-the-spot fines of $152, and a maximum penalty of up to $758.

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