Six months into smoke-free outdoor dining in NSW and NSW Health has reported public support and levels of compliance are high.
Since the start of the ban on 6 July 2015, NSW Health Inspectors have inspected over 1880 hospitality businesses with outdoor dining areas and have found 98 per cent compliance across NSW.
Executive Director of the NSW Centre for Population Health, Dr Jo Mitchell, said high levels of compliance with the ban has meant fewer people were exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.
“There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Commercial outdoor dining areas were made smoke-free to prevent patrons who are dining from exposure to cigarette smoke,” Dr Mitchell said.
An effective NSW Health education campaign leading up to 6 July 2015 resulted in high community awareness of the ban on smoking in commercial outdoor dining areas.
“Our figures indicate that more than eight out of ten people, both smokers and non-smokers, support the ban,” Dr Mitchell said.
“Experience shows that once people are aware of a smoking ban, they generally do the right thing. We have seen many venues and patrons embrace smoke-free dining.”
NSW Health Inspectors have found smoking breaches in a small number of venues. These venues were provided with education and have been followed up to confirm they are now compliant.
Any venues who continue not to comply may be subject to a $5,500 penalty. Individuals who do not comply may receive a $300 on the spot fine.
For further information regarding NSW Health smoke-free legislation, including smoke-free outdoor dining, please call the Tobacco Information Line on 1800 357 412 or visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/smokefree\