Outdoor smoke ban gains support

AS the state election nears, a new poll reveals an overwhelming majority of voters support the idea of a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.

More than eight out of 10 NSW voters believe smoking should be banned from outdoor areas where food or drink is served, according to an independent Newspoll survey commissioned by Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation.

In a similar survey on this issue in 2006, 69% of NSW adults said they supported a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas. This suggests there has been a significant increase in public support since before the last election.

It comes just two months after the NSW Government released a discussion paper on its Tobacco Action Plan, inviting public comment on new tobacco laws. T

he poll also reveals 90% of voters say there should be more services to help smokers quit, highlighting public sympathy for the difficulties of smokers kicking the habit, while also wanting to avoid second-hand smoke.

“NSW voters are fed up with having to endure toxic tobacco fumes when trying to enjoy a meal outdoors,” said the manager of Advocacy and Policy at Cancer Council NSW Anita Tang.

“The public was asked for its views for a discussion paper on this matter late last year, and this new data shows that not only is smoke-free outdoor dining good health policy, it is also clearly what voters want.

“Contrary to tobacco industry scare tactics, it’s also what eight out of 10 café and restaurant owners want, believing statewide legislation is fairer than leaving it to local councils.”

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