State-wide smoking laws have been widened to include alfresco eating areas.
Smoking is banned in NSW commercial outdoor dining areas and within four metres of pedestrian access to cafes, licensed premises and restaurants from July 6.
The ban applies to seated outdoor dining areas while food is being served, with a $300 on-the-spot fine for individuals and $5500 penalties for businesses that fail to adequately police the ban.
The latest NSW no smoking areas come on top of bans in outdoor public places including public transport stops and stations, within 10m of children’s playgrounds, spectator areas of sporting grounds, public swimming pools and within four metres of public building entrances.
The Cancer Council NSW welcomed the changes which were announced in August 2012.
‘We are delighted that second-hand smoke will no longer be a worry for patrons, staff and the NSW community as smoking will officially be off the menu at all outdoor dining outlets from today,’ Scott Walsberger, Tobacco Control Manager for the Cancer Council NSW said.
‘We know that there is no real safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke, so we commend the NSW Government in allowing the community and the hospitality industry time to prepare for this ban, which will help reduce the community’s exposure to second-hand smoke.’
In May, Sydney City Council began trialling a 12-month smoking ban in all outdoor areas of Martin Place, one of Sydney’s busiest tourist thouroughfares. When the ban began council rangers patrolled the area carrying ashtrays, asking smokers to put out their cigarettes.
If the plan is successful, Liberal councillor Christine Forster said it may be extended to other areas of the city, such as Pitt St Mall. More on that here.