The City of Melbourne has banned smokers from lighting up in any public outdoor area where food is served, including bakeries, cafés, restaurants and beer gardens.
The blanket ban, which was implemented at the beginning of April, includes laneways lined with retail businesses – Howey Place, Equitable Place, Block Place and The Causeway, among other heavily trafficked areas.
The smoking legislation has made it illegal to smoke in outdoor dining areas anywhere in the City of Melbourne’s municipality, which includes Kensington, East Melbourne, Queen Victoria Market, Docklands, Lygon St, Hoddle Grid and part of South Yarra.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the move may upset some customers, but will ultimately help Melbourne become a healthier city.
“I do think it is time to start considering the banning of smoking where food is served,” he said,” as reported by news.com.au.
“People are more likely to eat in locations which are smoke-free.”
In January New South Wales Health announced all commercial outdoor dining areas throughout the state, including hotels, clubs, restaurants and cafés would be smoke-free, under the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 as of July 6, 2015.
Under the act, all ignited smoking products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and water-pipes will be banned in seated outdoor dining areas while food is being served, attracting on-the-spot fines of $300 for individuals and penalties of up to $5500 for occupiers who ignore the ban.
South Australia will also be introducing similar legislation in mid-2016 with health minister Jack Snelling Sid stating the ban will allow the 80 per cent of South Australian residents who are non-smokers to enjoy a meal outdoors without the smell or smoke that comes with cigarettes.