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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 9 December 2010) . . Page.. 6099 ..

We should be proud here in the ACT that we are only one of a handful of jurisdictions to implement a comprehensive ban on smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas that focuses on protecting non-smokers from the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke. The other jurisdictions to take this approach were Queensland back in 2006 and Western Australia which followed in September of this year. Tasmania has a ban on smoking in outdoor eating and drinking areas, with 50 per cent of those areas required to be smoke free. I have also read recently that the Northern Territory will be commencing legislation that bans smoking in outdoor eating and drinking areas and that New South Wales has announced its investigation into similar legislation.

We can see that Australia is gradually joining a raft of places internationally that recognise the dangerous effects of environmental tobacco smoke that occurs when smokers congregate outdoors. These places include Canada, Ireland, Hong Kong and California which have also implemented restrictions on smoking in certain outdoor areas.

Members will see that, effective from today, all restaurants, cafes and food businesses are required to have outdoor dining and drinking areas that are smoke free. Licensed clubs and liquor licence venues that predominantly serve alcohol, such as pubs and taverns, may choose to have a designated outdoor smoking area, or DOSA as it is known. These premises can only designate up to 50 per cent of their licensed outdoor area and they are subject to some very strict rules such as the height of the wall and the buffer to be provided between the smoking and the non-smoking areas. And in many respects, some of these requirements mean that many smaller businesses will not be able to have designated outdoor smoking areas.

DOSAs are designed to be areas where patrons may drink and smoke before they return to their friends in the non-smoking areas. So business owners must take steps to ensure that no food or drink is served or consumption of food occurs in the DOSA. People under the age of 18 are not permitted to enter the DOSA and no entertainment is to be offered or accessible from the DOSA, including televised or live sporting events. There must be buffers put in place on the perimeter of the DOSA where it is adjacent to smoke-free areas and the necessary steps to ensure that smoke does not drift into these smoke-free areas must be taken.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Porter?

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what other amendments will take effect today to protect Canberrans from the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Part of the legislation we passed a year ago was also a new law to ban smoking at under-age functions. This includes all public music events that are predominantly organised for people under the age of 18. We know that environmental tobacco smoke is particularly harmful to young people because of their smaller lung capacity and their body weight. Evidence also indicates that exposing young people to others’ tobacco use increases the chance of young people taking up smoking themselves.

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