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New study confirms non smoking areas 'ineffective'

Tuesday 24 February, 2004

Calls for legislation to make all pubs and clubs smokefree immediately have gained momentum following the release today of a new study that finds designated 'no-smoking' areas provide little or no protection from the dangers of passive smoke.

Quit Victoria says the new study, published in the British Medical Journal's Tobacco Control publication, details research on the air quality carried out in a number of clubs in Sydney. Researchers from South East Sydney Public Health Unit found that designated 'non-smoking' areas still contained harmful pollutants.

Executive Director Todd Harper says the study confirms the need for totally smokefree pubs and clubs, as soon as possible.

""This study clearly shows that the solution of combining smoking and non-smoking areas in the same venue does not protect the health of staff and patrons,"" Mr Harper said.

""Non-smoking areas or non-smoking rooms are not free of potentially harmful cancer causing chemicals, and therefore continue to pose a risk to the health of patrons and staff.""

""We need to move as quickly as possible to ban smoking in all indoor workplaces, including pubs and clubs.""

“I hope that this new evidence, coming close on the heels of yesterday’s resignation by Tasmanian Premier Jim Bacon following his lung cancer diagnosis, will give legislators the extra impetus they need to take action on this serious public health issue.”

“We need to treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves.”

“Mr Bacon has told the Cancer Council Tasmania that he is committed to continuing the smokefree push.”

“Mr Bacon was well-known to be a smoker, and despite this, he enacted some of Australia’s most progressive tobacco control legislation.”

“Hopefully other state and territory Governments will renew their commitment to resolving the contradictory situation we see with smoking in public places around Australia.”

“Only total smoking bans in all indoor workplaces will give the public and workers the clarity  - and protection - they need.”

-ends-

Further information:
Zoe Furman,
Media Communications Manager

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