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Study finds some Victorian workers still choke on smoke

Thursday 8 February, 2001

A new study has found that nearly 30 per cent of Victoria's workplaces do not have comprehensive smoking bans.

Figures released today show that while total smoking bans exist in over 70% of Victorian workplaces, 21% of workplaces have only partial bans, and 8% of workplaces in the state have no restrictions on smoking at all.

Published as part of the Quit Evaluation Studies Volume 10 released today, the study Smoking bans in Victorian workplaces, was conducted by the Anti-Cancer Council's Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer.

Key findings of today's study show:

There has been a large increase in the number of Victorian workplaces with smoking restrictions - in 1988 only 17% of Victorian workplaces had total bans on smoking, compared to 71% in 1999.

Workplaces most likely to have no smoking restrictions in place are warehouses and stores; workers who work in outdoor environments are least likely to have smoking restrictions, with 55% of those surveyed in outdoor workplaces reporting no restrictions on smoking in their workplace.

The proportion of Victorian workplaces with no smoking restrictions has fallen significantly in ten years, from about a third in 1988 to less than 10%.

Total smoking bans were highest in workplaces such as schools/classrooms and hospitals.

Those who work in vehicles also reported a marked increase in smoking bans over time, rising from only 10% in 1988, to almost half in 1999.

Quit Executive Director Todd Harper said workers least likely to be protected by smoking bans were those in the hospitality industry.

'This latest study shows that workers who are least likely to be protected by smoking bans in their workplaces are staff in hotels and gambling venues, and restaurants.

'No one should have to put their health at risk while they're at work.

'It is workers in these areas that are most at risk of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke while they work.

'Smoking bans in pubs, clubs, bars and nightclubs would not only protect the health of patrons from casual exposure, but more significantly, protect the health of workers who face prolonged exposure to other people's smoke during the course of their work.

'The extension of smoking bans to bars, clubs and gaming areas would protect management from the possibility of legal action by staff and patrons.

ends

Further information:

Zoe Furman
Media Communications Manager
Quit Victoria

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