Victoria lags behind, as smoking to be banned in pubs in Ireland from tomorrow
With a total ban on smoking in pubs in Ireland about to take effect from tomorrow, a new survey has found that Victorians' support for bans on smoking in pubs, clubs and nightclubs is at an all-time high.
A survey conducted in November and December last year by The Cancer Council Victoria has found that more than 7 out of 10 Victorians surveyed supported a ban on smoking in bars and nightclubs, with 8 out of 10 Victorians supporting a smoking ban in gambling venues.
Latest figures show that of around 3000 Victorians surveyed in 2003,
- 72% supported smoking bans in bars (an increase of around 4% from 2002)
- 71% supported a ban on smoking in nightclubs (an increase of 5% from 2002)
- 76% agreed with the current legislation to restrict smoking in gambling venues, and 81% supported a total smoking ban in gambling venues
Quit Victoria Executive Director Todd Harper says the survey results are compelling evidence of the strong public support for smoking bans to go further.
'These latest figures show in a four year period, support by Victorians for smoking bans in bars, nightclubs and gambling areas has risen significantly.'
'This support is not just among non-smokers either: approval amongst smokers for bans in bars has doubled between 2000-2003, and approval of bans in nightclubs amongst smokers has more than doubled in the same period.'
Mr Harper says legislation to ban smoking in indoor workplaces in Victoria is not keeping pace with movements overseas.
'From tomorrow, comprehensive smokefree workplace will take effect in Ireland. That means that pubs and restaurants in Ireland will be totally smokefree. If an important public health move like this is possible in Ireland, which has a strong pub culture, it is possible in Victoria.'
'There is a clear trend that over the last four years, community support for bans on smoking in bars, nightclubs and gambling venues has been steadily increasing. How much longer will this community support be ignored by the hotel industry?'
'The community support is there, and so is the evidence about the health effects of passive smoking.'
'Many studies have found passive smoking is linked with a range of deadly and debilitating diseases, including heart disease and lung cancer.'
'Victoria has made a lot of progress in recent years and we hope that we can continue to build on those reforms by ensuring bars and nightclubs become smokefree too.'
'We need a level playing field for all venues, all patrons, and all workers. If all indoor workplaces - including bars and pubs - were smokefree, there would be no confusion about which areas were required to be smokefree and at what times.'
'Most importantly, workers and patrons in bars and clubs would no longer have to risk their health just by going to work or enjoying a night out.'
Mr Harper says the hotel industry's predictions of a negative economic impact if pubs and clubs were to go smokefree is not borne out by experience overseas.
Around a year ago, bars in New York City went totally smokefree. In January this year the Department of Finance reported that tax revenues from bars and restaurants had increased by 12% over the same period a year earlier. In July last year, the Department of Labour reported 1,500 new jobs in city bars and restaurants since the smokefree workplace laws went into effect.
Percentage of Victorians who approve of government introduced smoking bans in bars, nightclubs and gambling venues, 2000-2003
Source: Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, The Cancer Council Victoria
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Information about Ireland's new smokefree laws can be found at: http://www.smokefreeatwork.ie/
Media Communications Manager