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An election promise to count on: outdoor smoking bans coming

Date

Lisa Cox

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Photo: Tamara Voninski

Laws that have banned smoking near playgrounds, swimming pools and bus stops in NSW will be introduced in the ACT.

The ACT government says it will fulfil its election promise to increase the number of smoke-free outdoor areas in the territory and hopes to enact the laws during this term.

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner boasted on Monday that her state had some of the most advanced anti-tobacco measures in the country after new smoking restrictions in public outdoor areas began.

The laws forbid smoking in many outdoor areas, including within 10 metres of children's play equipment, at swimming pools, in spectator areas at sports grounds, and at bus stops, taxi ranks and on train station platforms.

The ACT government took a similar policy to the October 2012 election and said on Monday that work had begun to fulfil that commitment.

The government plans to ban smoking, or increase awareness of existing smoking bans, at public swimming pools, playgrounds, sports fields where children are present, covered bus interchanges, university campuses, building entrances and large public outdoor events.

''Detailed work is currently being undertaken to progress these commitments,'' acting Health Minister Andrew Barr said. ''The Chief Minister will provide further details in the coming months.''

Mr Barr defended the territory's existing smoking laws and said the government had taken considerable steps to discourage smoking and reduce the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.

''These include restrictions on smoking at health centres, schools, restaurants and bars, outdoor drinking and eating areas and in cars carrying children,'' he said.

''We have restricted the way tobacco is sold and marketed and promoted smoking cessation programs in our community.''

The ACT banned smoking in outdoor eating and drinking areas in 2011 and the NSW government will extend its ban on outdoor tobacco smoke to outdoor dining areas at licensed premises, restaurants and cafes in 2015.

But Mrs Skinner said the laws enacted on Monday still made NSW one of the toughest jurisdictions in the country when it came to anti-tobacco policy.

''The NSW government has already demonstrated its commitment to reducing smoking and its impact in our community by establishing ambitious targets to continue to reduce smoking,'' she said.

"Smoking-related illness accounts for around 5200 deaths and 44,000 hospitalisations per year in NSW and costs about $8 billion annually.

"Taking steps to limit people's exposure to second-hand smoke in outdoor public places is a key step in efforts to minimise tobacco smoking in our society.''

5 comments

  • What a bloody hide smokers, who think it's OK to blow their filthy, stinking smoke over people at adjacent tables in outside eating areas, have.

    Commenter
    Eudaimonia
    Location
    Kingston
    Date and time
    January 08, 2013, 11:26AM
    • If the governments banned the sale of cigarettes they would have some credibility .Are they scared to remove the choice of smokers.until then they are just introuducing a token responoce to the dangers of smoking

      Commenter
      old goat
      Location
      woden
      Date and time
      January 08, 2013, 1:06PM
      • Why should Governments restrict (or ban) the sale ciragettes? If people want to smoke, then it is their legal right. However, Governments have every right to restrict the locations of where cigarettes can be smoked - because it is my human right not to be in the vacinity of the filthy things! Oh, by the way, its not a smokers legal right to throw their butts anywhere they choose - but they do it all the same...

        Commenter
        Bronte
        Location
        Belconnen
        Date and time
        January 08, 2013, 4:09PM
    • Just ban smoking altogether but then I suppose government losses all that tax.
      Hell, between succesive ACT governments they have outlawed legitimate drag racing but I guess thats a different sort of smoking.

      Commenter
      Nitro Gangster
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      January 08, 2013, 4:06PM
      • Smoking in motor vehicles should be banned....too many times I see brain dead smokers flick their lit cigarette butt out the car window and the slip stream behind the car blows the sparks & burning bits into the dry grass on the side of the road...it really makes my blood boil.

        Commenter
        dusty
        Location
        butting heads with buttheads
        Date and time
        January 08, 2013, 11:48PM
        Comments are now closed
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