New laws for smoking in outdoor dining areas

Published on 04 August 2017

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New laws banning smoking in outdoor dining areas come into force from 1 August, meaning Victorians and their families will be able to enjoy a meal outside, away from the deadly dangers of second-hand smoke.

From 1 August 2017, smoking will be banned in outdoor areas at hospitality and food venues used for eating food. This includes footpath dining areas, courtyards and beer gardens during times food is being eaten, or is available to be eaten.

Smoking will also be banned at all outdoor food fairs. A food fair is an event where the principal activity is the supply of food for consumption at the event.

Farmers markets and other outdoor events will also be affected by the new laws, with smoking banned within 10 metres of a food stall or food vendor.

The new smoking bans are part of the Victorian Government’s work to reduce the harm caused by smoking and to support more Victorians to quit for good.

Mayor Brian Gibson said that there was strong community support for the bans.

“From August 1, everyone will be able to enjoy meals outside in fresh air with family and friends, without the risk of breathing in harmful second-hand smoke.”

“The reduced visibility of smokers will also help de-normalise smoking for young people in our communities,” Mayor Gibson said.

Businesses wanting to maintain an outdoor drinking area where smoking is permitted must comply with certain conditions including a 4-metre buffer zone or a wall of at least 2.1 metres high, such as a water resistant café blind.

Council officers have provided businesses with support to get ready for smoke-free outdoor dining, including site visits, guides and fact sheets, access to free ‘no smoking’ signs and promoting the dedicated Tobacco Information Line.

Individuals caught smoking in an outdoor dining area face a fine of $159, with a maximum court ordered penalty of $793.

Businesses face fines of $793, with a maximum court ordered penalty of $7,924. Businesses also risk the same fine for failing to display 'no smoking' signs.

For more information please contact Council on 5450 9333 or visit council’s website www.gsc.vic.gov.au

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