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Vic's new smoking laws will save lives

Saturday 21 May 2016

Following many years of lobbying for stronger smoking laws, the AMA welcomes today's legislative announcement by the Victorian Government.

"The AMA has long called for smoking to be banned in cafes and restaurants' outdoor areas, and for e-cigarettes to be included in the state's tobacco laws. Today's legislative announcement is a very positive public health measure and will benefit Victorians," Dr Lorraine Baker, the newly elected President of AMA Victoria, said this morning.

"Exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to cancer, heart and lung disease, stroke, asthma attacks, affect fertility and the health of children and unborn babies. Many other serious health problems are linked to passive smoking. Smoking in outdoor dining areas impacts on the health of patrons and is a serious OH&S issue for staff. We are confident this ban will lead to less cigarettes being smoked.

"While we are pleased with today's legislation, smoking bans need to apply to cafe, restaurant and bars' dining and drinking areas. We remind the Government and the public that a cigarette with a coffee is just as harmful as a cigarette with a sandwich," Dr Baker said.

AMA Victoria's pre-budget submission to the Government this year called for e-cigarettes to be included in the state's tobacco laws, and we are very pleased with today's announcement. There is little evidence to suggest e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices. Both the NHMRC and the World Medical Association have warned against the use of e-cigarettes until sufficient evidence of safety and efficacy has been established.

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MEDIA CONTACT - Felicity Ryan 0437 450 506


Further reading, please see:
The AMA's position statement on tobacco and e-cigarettes
AMA Victoria's 2016-17 pre-budget submission

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