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AMA calls for clarity - this "quasi outdoor smoking ban" must be backed by law

Monday 4 August

The Australian Medical Association Victoria welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement that smoking will be banned in outdoor dining areas, however this announcement must be accompanied by legislation and the Government must provide a timeframe as to when the ban will come into effect.

“Minister Davis must provide immediate clarification on the timeframe for the ban’s implementation and confirm that it will apply to all venues in Victoria,” AMA Victoria, President Dr Tony Bartone, said today.

“How long will the Government consult with industry groups? And will this mean that there are exemptions for certain venues or times of the day? This smoking ban needs to apply to all Victorian outdoor dining areas, including bars that do not serve food.

“We are talking about the health of Victorian here. Smoking in outdoor dining areas affects not just the health of patrons, but also the health of all the employees who work at these venues,” Dr Bartone said.

The preamble in Victoria’s Tobacco Act 1987 states that “tobacco use is so injurious to the health of both smokers and non-smokers as to warrant restrictive legislation…The extent of the health effects of smoking requires strong action to deter people from taking up smoking and to encourage existing smokers to give up smoking”. [1]

“The Act rightly states restrictive legislation. This needs to happen now for outdoor dining areas,” Dr Bartone said.

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[1] Object of Act, Tobacco Act 1987 (Vic), Parliament of Victoria.

Media contact: Felicity Ryan 0437 450 506 or felicityr@amavic.com.au

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