New South Wales Health is reminding food business owners all commercial outdoor dining areas in the state will be smoke-free, as of July 6.
Under the Smoke-Free Environment Act 2000, smoking will be banned in seated outdoor dining areas while food is being served, with NSW Health Authorised Inspectors able to issue on-the-spot fines of $300 for individuals and penalties of up to $5500 for business occupiers who ignore the ban.
NSW Health director of the Centre for Population Health Dr Jo Mitchell said the body is working closely with local businesses to help them get ready for smoke-free outdoor dining.
“There is strong public support for making outdoor dining areas smoke-free and a number of businesses have already voluntarily banned smoking in their outdoor dining areas, with positive results,” she said.
The outdoor dining area at the Shop 3 Coffee café in Gosford has already gone smoke-free, with proprietor Steven Scalvos stating the change has been positive for both staff and customers.
The Sahra Restaurant in Parramatta has also already phased out smoking, including waterpipes, from its outdoor dining area. Proprietor Talal Alamein implemented the change because, as a grandfather, he said he “is concerned about the harm of smoking on future generations”.
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 residents who are non-smokers to enjoy a meal outdoors without the smell or smoke that comes with cigarettes.