Victorians will be breathing easier from today, as the State wakes up to smokefree environments in bars and clubs.
Acting Director of Quit Victoria, Ms Suzie Stillman, said hospitality workers and patrons in bars and clubs could today celebrate their right to work and socialise in a healthy environment.
"Today marks a landmark occasion for those in the hospitality sector who can now go to work without fear of the health risks associated with exposure to second-hand smoking."
"Exposure to second-hand smoke has been found to cause lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, among other illnesses in non-smoking adults so there is no doubt that today is a tremedous step forward in public health in Victoria."
Ms Stillman said those Victorians who remain sceptical about the workability of smokefree environments in bars and clubs only need think back to when smoking was banned in restaurants.
"When restaurants became smokefree there were the doubters who said the legislation would never work. However years later there were no reports of the world having ended, and indeed Victoria's restaurants continue booming to this very day."
"We can expect smokefree bars and clubs to enjoy the same popularity with a recent study indicating that 8 out of 10 Victorians are in favour of the laws, including a majority of smokers."
Ms Stillman said the Quitline has prepared for an anticipated surge in quitting activity by increasing staff numbers and extending hours.
"One of the fabulous consequences of smokefree legislation is that many Victorian smokers have suggested they will use July 1 as motivation to try and kick the habit."
Ms Stillman suggested smokers thinking about quitting should consider the Quitline Callback program, whereby a trained advisor speaks to a caller twice before their quit date and up to four times afterwards to ensure they have the best chance possible of making a successful quit attempt.
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