New Zealand steps up to the crease on tobacco control
Australia and New Zealand might be battling it out on the cricket pitch, but the Kiwis have already scored one up on their Aussie rivals by becoming the fifth country to implement smokefree legislation today.
As of today New Zealand law obliges workplaces including offices, restaurants, bars and casinos to provide a smokefree indoor environment for all workers.
Australia will have to wait over a year before the first of its States adopts similar bans with Tasmanian bars and clubs to be the first to go smokefree as of January 2006.
Quit Victoria's Executive Director, Mr Todd Harper, has encouraged local pubs and clubs to resist being bowled over by our neighbours by going smokefree as soon as possible.
""Although smoking bans in Victoria don’t come into play until July 2007, it would fantastic to see to local venues beat the ban,"" says Mr Harper.
“Going smokefree is not about if people smoke, its about where they smoke and who has to suffer the health effects caused by exposure to that second hand smoke.”
Mr Harper said the decision for pubs and clubs to go smokefree before the 2007 date would be popular amongst patrons and staff with a survey released in September revealing that 70% of Victorians want to see smoking bans in bars, pubs and gaming venues in place within the next six months.
“With such strong community support for smokefree environments, bars and clubs would be doing themselves a tremendous favour by going smokefree sooner rather than later,” said Mr Harper.
Reports from New Zealand have suggested that their Hospitality Industry is ready for the change and is not expecting any significant financial impact as a result of tomorrow’s bans.
“Australian hotels should follow the lead of their New Zealand counterparts who have certainly hit a six with their ability to not only prepare for, but embrace, the move towards smokefree legislation,” says Mr Harper.
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