Smoking rates in Australia have shown a steady decline over the past 50 years. Many factors are at play in terms of changing the social norms, including education, increasing tobacco taxation, and reducing tobacco advertising and branding. Further to this, policy change within Government and private sectors continue to spur on change toward a tobacco free future.
PROFESSOR PETER LE SOUEF
“People love to eat and socialise outdoors in WA, especially during our beautiful summer months, but, nothing is more irritating when you are sitting down to enjoy a nice meal, or a good coffee, and someone at the next table lights up. Areas where food is served must become smokefree; this includes all cafes, restaurants (licensed or unlicensed) and pubs.”
He also mentioned how smoking in these areas puts our most vulnerable people more at risk. “People with asthma and other respiratory diseases can suffer an attack from the passive smoke of others; even in an outdoor setting. Also, there are often children eating with families; their health potentially at risk. Not to mention the modelling of aberrant behaviour in front of children!” said Professor Le Souëf.
This was a relatively low key launch as ACOSH was still in the midst of preparing for smoke free enclosed public places. However, it is noteworthy that ACOSH received many calls from members of the public who are very supportive of this campaign.
On 22 September 2010, new smoking restrictions were implemented in WA. Smoking was prohibited in outdoor eating areas, a person must not smoke in an outdoor eating area unless the place in which the person is smoking is a smoking zone. An outdoor eating area is a public place or part of a public place:
- that is provided, on a commercial basis, as an area where food or drink may be consumed by people sitting at tables and;
- that is not an enclosed public place
Under the same restrictions smoking is always prohibited near playground equipment, smoking is banned within 10 metres of any children’s playground equipment in a public place or not in an enclosed public place. Smoking is now banned within the flags at the beach, tobacco products banned from displays in shops and smoking is now banned in cars carrying kids.