A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates Victorian bar workers will breath easier from July next year, when their workplaces become smokefree.
The Scottish study revealed the proportion of bar workers reporting health problems due to working in a smoky environment dropped from 79 per cent to 53 per cent only a month after the March ban on smoking in pubs was introduced.
Within two months, that figure reporting symptoms fell to an astonishing 47 per cent.
Chief Executive Officer of VicHealth, Professor Rob Moodie said the Scottish study confirmed the move to smokefree bars and clubs in Victoria would be hugely beneficial to workers, and patrons.
"Smokefree bars and clubs will provide a healthier work environment for workers, and smokers will benefit by socialising in an environment that may help them quit."
Professor Moodie said people who may have avoided smoky environments in the past are more likely to visit a smokefree bar or club, suggesting a surge in patronage when total smoking bans are introduced.
"The tobacco industry and hospitality industry have collaborated for years, delaying smoking bans by citing a potential downtown in business, but these outdated arguments no longer stand up with research showing many people will return to bars and clubs once they have become smokefree."
Quit Deputy Director Ms Suzanne Stillman said bars and clubs can do their workers and patrons a tremendous favour by acting before the ban and implementing a smokefree policy before the July deadline.
"There is no longer any excuse to put the health of anyone, worker or patron, at risk because of an unnecessarily smoky environment," said Ms Stillman.
"By implementing a smokefree policy, bars and clubs help people stay quit and help others to reduce their tobacco consumption," said Ms Stillman.
Ms Stillman said that socialising and working in smokefree environments is a very helpful step when quitting, but also encouraged smokers planning or trying to quit to remember help and support is available just by calling the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for the cost of a local call.
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811