The push to introduce smokefree dining in restaurants and public places has been given further impetus following a landmark law suit by an asthma sufferer against a restaurant for failing to provide a smokefree dining environment.
Quit Executive Director Todd Harper says the case highlights the legal risks for the hospitality industry if provision for smokefree dining is not addressed.
'Restaurants and hospitality areas that are not smokefree are running the risk of legal action from both diners and staff who suffer health consequences as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.'
'It's not just adults who are at risk environmental tobacco smoke harms children, and has been shown to cause increased incidence of asthma in children, as well as lower respiratory illness, reduced lung growth and middle ear disease.'
Mr Harper said that creating smokefree environments in restaurants was the best option.
'People who have health conditions such as asthma that can be triggered or exacerbated by environmental tobacco smoke should be able to dine out without the fear of getting sick.'
'Many people who don't suffer from asthma or other medical conditions prefer to enjoy their meal without having to contend with the unpleasant effects of cigarette smoke.'
'We're delighted that Health Minister John Thwaites has signalled his intention to address the issue of smokefree dining.'
'This is a move that will be welcomed by those who choose to dine in smokefree restaurants for health reasons, and the public at large.'
'Surveys have shown there is strong public support for smokefree dining the issue is not whether people smoke, it's where they smoke.'
'Research by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer has shown that 97% of restaurants patrons support restrictions on smoking.'
'Many restaurants have already introduced smokefree dining in response the increasing public demand; the Government's intention to introduce legislation on smokefree dining would mirror the strong public support there is for smokefree dining in restaurants and other public places.'
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