Quit says the introduction of smokefree dining is a good move for the health of restaurant patrons and staff - and would not result in losses to the restaurant industry.
Quit Executive Director Todd Harper says Victorian restaurants have no reason to be concerned about the economic impact of smoking bans in restaurants and dining areas, as the available research shows no negative impact on revenue.
'The only reliable data available on the economic impact of smoking bans on the restaurant industry comes from the US where bans have been in place for some time now.'
'The research available shows that hotel, restaurant and bar revenues have not fallen once they become smokefree.'
'In some cases the bans have actually resulted in increased revenue; for example, in California the laws appear to have been good for business, and in New York hotel sales increased by almost 40% after smoking bans were introduced.'
Mr Harper said the health of diners and staff was an issue the industry could not ignore.
'We need to remember it's not just diners who face health risks if smoking is not banned in restaurants.
'The introduction of smokefree dining will protect the health of thousands of hospitality workers.'
'No-one deserves to be forced to work in smoky workplaces, yet that is exactly what confronts most hospitality workers in Victoria.'
Mr Harper said studies have found hospitality workers face an increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in their workplaces.
'Introducing smokefree dining is the only way to protect the health of patrons and staff.'
'Given the widespread public support for the move and evidence from overseas, restaurateurs have no reason to be concerned about the impact on their business.'
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