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AMA welcomes smoking bans announcement

Sunday 23 August 2015

The Australian Medical Association Victoria welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement that smoking will be banned in outdoor dining areas from 2017.

“Victoria is the last state in Australia to commit to bans on smoking in outdoor dining areas.  We used to be a leader in tobacco action and this important change is long-overdue," AMA Victoria President Dr Tony Bartone said.

“AMA Victoria calls on the Victorian Government to apply the smoking bans in all commercial outdoor dining and drinking areas – courtyards, laneways, rooftops, balconies, street tables and beer gardens.

“This needs to apply to all premises – regardless of whether food is sold or not. Drinking and smoking is just as harmful as eating and smoking.

“We are talking about the health of all Victorians 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”.

“The Act rightly states restrictive legislation. It is good to see that Victorian’s are finally getting the action and protection they deserve,” Dr Bartone said.

AMA media contact: 0437 450 506

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