Almost 4 out of 5 Victorians support total smoking bans in bars and clubs, according to latest research released today by The Cancer Council Victoria.
The research also shows that the proportion of smokers that approve of the ban is higher than that of smokers that disapprove of it.
The findings come as Victorians embark on a 1-year countdown to the introduction of total smoking bans in bars and clubs on July 1, 2007.
Smoking bans in licensed venues were introduced in Queensland on Saturday, following Tasmania, which has been smokefree since the beginning of the year.
Latest figures show that of around 3000 Victorians surveyed in 2005
- 77% supported smoking bans in bars
- Support was the strongest among those who were never smokers (87%) and former smokers (81%)
Victorians looking for a smokefree venue can log onto www.smokefree.org.au to find a list of venues that have already implemented a smokefree policy.
Executive Director of Quit Victoria, Mr Todd Harper, said the data showed Victorians were ready for the introduction of smokefree bars and clubs.
"There is overwhelming support for smokefree environments amongst Victorians, and we are already seeing the most savvy bars and clubs beat the deadline and implement smokefree policies to reflect the wishes of their patrons and staff."
Mr Harper said there has been a steady climb in support for smokefree bars and clubs over the last five years, increasing from 63% in 2001.
"People are becoming progressively more aware of the damage that can be done by second-hand smoke, and all the time we are learning more and more about the effects of being involuntarily exposed to tobacco smoke."
"Few people, whether they be worker or patron, are willing to accept a situation in which their health may be compromised because of an unnecessarily smoky environment."
Mr Harper said he was pleased to see such a positive response to the introduction of smoking bans from smokers themselves.
"That more smokers approve of the bans than disapprove of them is truly indicative of the widespread community effort and support that pushed the idea of smokefree bars and clubs onto the tobacco control agenda in Victoria."
"It's safe to say that the vast majority of Victorians are looking forward to heading down to their local watering hole in a year's time and enjoying a few smokefree lagers with mates," said Mr Harper.
Smoking bans in licensed venues - A national snapshot
- Smoking bans in licensed venues were introduced in Tasmania on January 1st 2006 and in Queensland on July 1st 2006.
- The ACT will introduce smoking bans in licensed venues on December 1st 2006, followed by Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia on the 1st July 2007.
- Licensed venues in South Australian become smokefree on 1st November 2007.
- At this stage there is no proposed date for smoking bans in licensed venues in the Northern Territory.
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