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Smoking off the menu

Tue 1 August, 2017

From today, 1 August 2017, smoking is banned at all Victorian commercial outdoor dining areas.

Banyule Mayor Cr Tom Melican said the new state-wide laws, under the Tobacco Act 1987, were another important step in keeping the community healthier and ensuring non-smokers could enjoy outdoor dining without breathing in second-hand cigarette smoke.

Cr Melican said progressive State Government bans have helped reinforce Banyule’s own work in creating a healthier, smoke free community, including its own smoke free initiatives instituted in March 2013 and an ongoing test program to ensure tobacco retailers are not illegally selling tobacco to children and teenagers under 18.

“The continuing decline of smoking rates across Victoria demonstrates the success of smoking restrictions and policies to reduce the widespread harm caused by tobacco,” he said.

In preparing for the ban on smoking, Council officers have worked with local businesses to ensure they were aware of the new laws and understood them. Cr Melican said venues need to display ‘No Smoking’ signs so that customers can clearly see where smoke free areas are.

Nick Ahimastos, the owner of Hunter Lane Café in Rosanna, said that for him “food and smoke is thoroughly unacceptable.” When he opened the café, which has an outdoor seating area, last November, Nick put up signs letting people know it was a ‘no smoking’ area.

“When people see the sign they think it is absolutely beautiful because they can sit down and have a meal without second hand smoke. Good food and cigarette smoke just don’t mix,” Nick said.

Cr Melican said that in addition to the ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas, the Tobacco Act has also been amended to regulate e-cigarettes and shisha tobacco in the same way as other tobacco products.

The new smoking bans will take effect from 1August 2017 at:

  • Premises such as restaurants, cafes, take-away shops and licenced premises, including courtyard dining areas and footpath dining.
  • Food fairs.
  • Within 10 metres of a food stall at outdoor events, including community or street festivals.
  • In an outdoor drinking area if any part of the area is within four metres of an outdoor dining areas, unless a wall of at least 2.1 metres high separates them.

Find out more information on the recent tobacco reforms.