As Victorians bars and clubs prepare to go smokefree in a month, Quit and VicHealth have joined forces to highlight the importance of protecting the public from exposure to second-hand smoke.
Every year, World No Tobacco Day is celebrated globally on the 31st May. This year's theme is 100% SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENTS.
Acting Director of Quit Victoria, Ms Suzie Stillman said despite indisputable evidence on the dangers of second-hand smoke, some people still believe that exposure is more of a nuisance than an actual health hazard.
"Exposure to second-hand smoke causes irritations like sore eyes and throat, but it is important to make sure people understand it can also lead to serious respiratory illnesses, and indeed cancer and heart disease."
"Children are especially vulnerable to second-hand smoke and exposure can cause the onset of asthma, as well as well as lower tract respiratory illness, reduced lung growth and middle ear disease in young people.'
CEO of VicHealth, Mr Todd Harper said the theme for World No Tobacco Day was particularly relevant this year with the introduction of smokefree bars and clubs just around the corner.
"The introduction of smoking bans in Victorian bars and clubs on July 1st this year represents an impressive achievement in tobacco control and is something that has the overwhelming support of most Victorians."
"Smokefree pubs and clubs will protect more people from the harms of tobacco smoke and ensure a healthier and safer workplace for those working in bars and clubs."
"Other indoor workplaces have been smokefree since March last year, so it is fantastic that hospitality workers will soon enjoy the same right to work without the fear of the health risks associated with second-hand smoke."
Ms Stillman said smoking bans in pubs and clubs present tremendous potential to help smokers quit or reduce their tobacco consumption.
"By making bars and clubs smokefree there is a huge opportunity to help people quit, or even prevent them from taking up smoking in the first place."
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