Effective today, smoking in outdoor dining areas in New South Wales in Australia is strictly prohibited.
The revised Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 bans smoking in the NSW commercial outdoor dining or al fresco areas, particularly areas of hotels, clubs, restaurants and cafes. It likewise extends to four meters from within the mentioned areas. Individuals found breaking the law will be ordered $300 on-the-spot fine, while businesses will be slapped with penalties that could surged up to $5500.
While the state will allow designated smoking areas, these must be located in spots that do not contradict the new smoking ban regulation, according to an information sheet. The new law, which applies to any ignited smoking product including cigarettes, pipes and water-pipes, targets to reduce second-hand smoke exposure.
“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,” Sky News quoted Scott Walsberger, Tobacco Control Manager for the Cancer Council NSW. “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.”
John Green, Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW director of liquor and policing, cited by portal Shout.com, said hoteliers are working closely with licensees across the state and the NSW Health to ensure the new law is smoothly implemented “with the least possible disruption.”
Apart from the al fresco areas, smoking is also prohibited at public transport stops and stations, sports fields, within 10 meters of children’s playgrounds, public swimming pools and entrances of public buildings.