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New figures spell out massive community support for a smokefree Victoria

Monday 2 May, 2005

Research released today reveals almost four out of five Victorians support total smoking bans in bars and clubs, with almost 70% of those who did not disapprove of the bans, thought they should be brought in sooner than the proposed timeline.

The findings, from The Cancer Council Victoria, follow plans announced by the Victorian Government last year to introduce total smoking bans in bars and clubs by July 1, 2007.

Latest figures show that of around 3000 Victorians surveyed in 2004:

  • 79% supported smoking bans in bars
  • 69% said total smoking bans in hospitality venues should be brought in sooner than July 1, 2007
  • 77% of those who want the bans brought in to hospitality venues sooner, want to see them implemented within 6 months.

    Support for smokefree bars and clubs has risen dramatically over the last five years. In 2000, 57% expressed support for a smoking ban in bars and clubs. That figure has climbed with 63% support in 2001, 68% support in 2002 and 72% support in 2003.

    Director of The Cancer Council Victoria, Professor David Hill, said the data provided overwhelming proof that Victorians had embraced the idea of smokefree bars and clubs.

    ""These figures show us not only that the public are very much in favour of smokefree bars and clubs, but also that they want to see them sooner rather than later,"" says Professor Hill.

    “The harms of passive smoking are now well known, so there is no excuse to put the health of anyone, worker or patron, at risk because of an unnecessarily smoky environment.”

    Chief Executive Officer of VicHealth, Rob Moodie said it was encouraging to see that it was not just non-smokers who supported smoking bans in bars and clubs.

    “More smokers approve of the bans in bars and clubs than disapprove of them and this should dismantle any idea that the push for smokefree environments has been driven solely by non-smokers and health groups. It is truly a widespread community effort,” says Dr Moodie.

    “For years the tobacco industry has collaborated with the hospitality industry to oppose smokefree environments, but with the majority of the public supporting smoking bans any effort to preserve unhealthy public environments no longer stands-up.”

    Table 1:
    Views of smoking bans in bars by smoking status, 2004

    Response

    Total

    (n=2998)

    Tobacco smokers

    (n=593)

    %

    Former smokers

    (n=868)

    %

    Never smokers

    (n=1537)

    %

    Approve

    Neither approve nor disapprove 

    Disapprove 

    Don't know/Can’t say

    78.8

    4.6



    15.2

    1.4

    48.4

    7.1



    42.8

    1.7

    81.6

    4.7



    12.3

    1.4

    89.0

    3.6



    6.1

    1.3

    Table 2:
    Opinion on proposed timing of bans,* by smoking status

    Response

    Total

    (n=2802)

    Smokers

    (n=479)

    %

    Former smokers

    (n=823)

    %

    Never smokers

    (n=1500)

    %

    About right

    Brought in sooner

    More time should be given

    Don’t know/Can’t say

    24.4

    69.3


    3.4



    2.9

    34.0

    50.9


    9.6



    5.4

    23.8

    70.7


    2.4



    3.0

    21.7

    74.3


    2.0



    1.9

    *Respondents include those who did not disapprove of introducing total smoking bans in either licensed bars, gambling venues and/or nightclubs.

     

    Table 3:
    When bans should be introduced,* by smoking status

    Response

    Total

    (n=1941)

    Smokers

    (n=244)

    %

    Former smokers

    (n=582)

    %

    Never smokers

    (n=1115)

    %

    Immediately

    In a month

    In 6 months

    In 12 months

    In 18 months

    More than 18 months

    Don’t know/Can’t say

    49.3

    6.4

    21.7

    18.5

    2.2

    1.0


    1.0

    54.9

    9.0

    19.3

    10.7

    1.6

    2.5


    2.0

    49.8

    7.0

    21.5

    19.2

    1.0

    0.5


    0.9

    47.7

    5.5

    22.3

    19.8

    3.0

    0.9


    0.8

    *Respondents include those who thought total smoking bans in hospitality venues should be brought in sooner than July 1, 2007.

    ends

    Edwina Vellar,
    Media Manager
    ph: (03) 9635 5400
    mob: 0417 303 811
    email: Edwina.Vellar@cancervic.org.au

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