Smoking will be banned in all outdoor dining areas where food is available in Victoria from 1st August 2017.

Currently in Victoria smoking is banned in all enclosed workplaces and certain public spaces where people gather and may be exposed to second hand smoke under the Tobacco Act 1987.

Murrindindi Shire Council’s Community Services Portfolio Councillor Sandice McAulay said the changes to the Act will now apply to premises such as restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops and licensed premises such as pubs, including courtyard dining areas and footpath dining.

“Victoria is the last state to bring in smoking bans for outdoor dining areas, and this is a welcome development,” Cr McAulay said.

These bans will also be in place for food fairs and other organised outdoor events including community or street festivals.

“According to the Victorian Government more than 73% of Victorians support this reform. Murrindindi Shire Council is also pleased to see these laws introduced as it means a reduced impact on our community’s health”, added Cr McAulay.

“Smoke-free areas in our Shire have been a long time coming and they’re important because they create a culture that reduces our exposure to second-hand smoke and supports people in our community who are trying to quit smoking,” Cr McAulay said.

“Importantly, this ban also means our family, friends and visitors to Murrindindi Shire can properly enjoy their outdoor dining experience – as there’s nothing like sitting in the sunshine enjoying lunch and a coffee.

In April 2015 Amendments to the Tobacco Act extended the areas where smoking was banned across Victoria to include:

 entrances to indoor children’s play centres, public hospitals and registered community health centres, and certain Victorian Government buildings

 the grounds of, and entrances to, childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools and primary and secondary schools

 outdoor recreational areas, including playground equipment, skate parks and sporting venues during under-age sporting events

 outdoor areas of public swimming pools

 patrolled beaches

 enclosed workplaces

 train stations, tram-stop platforms and tram and bus shelters

 under-age music or dance events.

For more information, visit the Health.vic smoke-free outdoor dining page –

http://bit.ly/2rgNMZK.

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