Research conducted by The Cancer Council of Victoria has revealed that almost half (48%) of Victorians had been exposed to second-hand smoke in the previous 48 hours of being surveyed.
Of that half, over 1 in 4 were exposed to second hand smoke at work and almost 15% were exposed to second-hand smoke at a bar or pub.
Executive Director of Quit, Mr Todd Harper, said the results were very worrying given the dangerous and well-documented health effects of second-hand smoke.
'Second-hand smoke has been found to cause lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, among other illnesses in non-smoking adults so naturally we are concerned about the scores of people still being exposed on a regular basis,' said Mr Harper.
This concern was mirrored in the data, with 4 out of 5 of people surveyed saying they were either very concerned or somewhat concerned about being exposed to second-hand smoke.
Mr Harper said legislative changes taking place in Victoria over the new two years would ensure people are more protected against the hazards of exposure to second-hand smoke.
'Laws banning smoking in workplaces from March 2006 and bars and clubs from July 2007 will allow the Victorian public to enjoy greater protection from second-hand smoke.'
'On top of that, the fact that the vast majority of Victorians are concerned about exposure to second-hand smoke, suggests the public is ready to embrace the workplaces, bar and clubs that chose to adopt smokefree policies sooner rather than later.'
The research follows the release of a new study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, demonstrating that Ireland's smokefree workplace laws has led to near total reductions in observed second-hand smoke pollution in key public venues.
The article also details the popularity of the smokefree laws with 83% of Irish smokers saying the law was a 'good' or 'very good' thing.
Already, 79% of Victorians have said they support smokefree bars laws.
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