Inner-city council considers banning smoking in outdoor dining areas


Yarra council become the latest Victorian council to investigate outdoor smoking bans in areas such as alfresco dining spaces, parks and playgrounds.

The move means smoking could be banned in outdoor dining areas along some of Melbourne's most popular eat streets including Brunswick, Smith and Swan streets, and Bridge road.

Research shows that a smoke-free outdoor areas policy has strong support in the public with over 70% of Victorians believing that smoking shouldn't be allowed in outdoor restaurant dining areas and outdoor areas where children are present.

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said if adopted, Yarra would be the first council in Victoria to enforce smoke-free outdoor dining areas across the municipality.

"Smoke-free areas give smokers a reason not to light up, helping many to cut back the amount they smoke and eventually stop smoking for good. Smoke-free areas also help to de-normalise smoking for children, so that they're less likely to take up the habit later in life."

Yarra council will now launch public consultation on outdoor smoke-free areas. A report is expected late this year.