A more glorious dawn awaits Katy’s new smoking laws

johnboy 8 December 2010 42

The Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher, is welcoming you all to “A CLEANER, HEALTHIER, SMOKE-FREE CANBERRA”.

ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA, announced that as of tomorrow (9 December 2010) all outdoor eating and drinking areas in the ACT will be smoke-free.

“This is an important step in protecting the health of those working in the hospitality industry as well as the wider community. It will achieve the goal of improved public health through creating healthier social environments,” said Ms Gallagher.

“Studies show that the level of tobacco smoke in outdoor eating and drinking areas can reach levels comparable to those seen in smoky pubs and clubs prior to the 2006 ban on smoking in enclosed public places.”

“All Canberrans can now enjoy dining outside at their favourite restaurants and cafés without being exposed to tobacco smoke,” the Minister said.

An outdoor eating and drinking area is classified as a public place where tables and chairs are provided for customers to consume food purchased from an on-site service such as a restaurant, café, food van or take-away store. These areas must be completely smoke-free.

Spare a thought for all the venues who thought they could trust this government and invested money on building facilities to comply with the old laws.

But it’s OK, you’re being made into better people.


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42 Responses to A more glorious dawn awaits Katy’s new smoking laws
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Mysteryman Mysteryman 11:14 am 10 Dec 10

DarkLadyWolfMother said :

As a non-smoker, with many smoking friends, this really pisses me off.

I’ve said for ages that we should leave it up to the cafes/clubs/pubs/whatever to advertise whether they allow smoking or not, and let the people decide which they’ll go to.

Apparently that’s too difficult so instead we get strong armed.

I do wonder where the extra taxes would come from if everyone gave up smoking….

I’m all for the new laws. I HATE ordering food and having some clown’s cigarette smoke blowing in my face while I’m trying to eat. Personally, I think those who choose to smoke in eating establishments are extremely inconsiderate.

There is the argument that establishments should be the ones to determine if their venue allows smoking. The problem with this is that in areas like Garema Place, where multiple cafes are right next to each other, the problem of smoke interrupting a meal will still exist if one cafe determines to be smoke free, while the one next to it decides not to be (think Gus’ and Essen, for example).

styles styles 9:45 am 10 Dec 10

Nice they have not even considered the environmental impact of “forcing all smoking out of every venue and on to the streets.”
When they first banned smoking inside nightclubs and bars, it astounded me that none of the venues placed any recepticles outside for the smokers. With no rubbish bins nearby, the PILE UPON PILE of butts outside mooseheads at 3.30am is a joke. It’s like a sea of butts. So now I guess we’ll just see piles and piles around the corner from every venue – yep going straight down our waterways. I know it is illegal to litter but who is going to carry around butts in their pockets for gods sake. If you want to ban it, then at least provide facilities (like more bins) for smokers to place their buts into..

Mr Lubberlubber Mr Lubberlubber 10:41 pm 09 Dec 10

Strawman argument is made of straw…and is a man…

I doubt that this is original, but you still get full credit for providing a great chuckle.

I absolutely hate cigarette smoke but don’t mind if others do it in a big open area where it dissipates easily and hardly affects you – think outside at Ostani in Barton. That is a very different proposition than in a cafe under an awning with windstopping barriers around the al fresco area and tables all bunched together – think virtually every cafe. You may as well be indoors.

MJay MJay 5:54 pm 09 Dec 10

Clubs and licensed premises can still have up to 50% of their outdoor area as a DOSA (designated outdoor smoking area), there is some requirements they need to meet though.

So some places will probably make the changes needed to comply, and others won’t. So in effect we will probably see some ‘smoking’ and non smoking venues.

And I hardly see it as clubs having spent money on outdoor areas and now at a loss, all the non smokers who have opted to sit in side because they find the smell of cigarette smoke awfully unpleasant will finally be able to enjoy the outside areas.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 4:15 pm 09 Dec 10

Smokers contribute an absolute mozza to government revenue during their working lives via the tax on cigarettes, then usually die early and fairly quickly, which means that that they don’t choke up the health system as they enter old age. I feel sorry for smokers, but their voluntary slow suicide can only be good for me as I get older.

Waltaroo Waltaroo 4:12 pm 09 Dec 10

I have never smoked, but smokers at bars have never been a problem for me. I think even the smokiest beer garden in Canberra has cleaner air than Sydney not to mention cities like Tokyo.
My big gripe with some smokers is the littering. Once on my way to Sydney I went past a Fire in the Middle of the highway that the local volunteers were putting only to see the car in front of me flick his/her lit butt out the window 100 meters up the road.

geetee geetee 2:01 pm 09 Dec 10

I just wish there were smoking venues and non-smoking venues. Then we’d see the result of market forces..

I’m also looking forward to seeing the profit reports of the club, pub and restaurant industry in a year’s time. A shame that many small pubs probably won’t survive as a result of this law or the upcoming hike in licensing fees.

Lilliputian Lilliputian 1:29 pm 09 Dec 10

I started smoking as a teenager. Teenagers do stupid things like that. Get over it.

I always think it’s amusing that non-smokers are really glad to get the outdoors to themselves. Come winter none of them are sitting outside. Smokers can be found outdoors rain, hail or shine.

That being said, I hate smoking. I’ve tried (in vain) many times to quit. Maybe the Government could use the revenue from cigarettes to subsidise nicotine replacement therapy. Maybe offer free quit smoking classes. These laws are just a way for the government to be seen as doing something. No one will quit smoking because of this. It’s probably worse for the environment in a way. Instead of smokers putting out their butts out in an ashtray provided by an establishment they’ll just put it out wherever. Leading to more butts in the waterways.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 1:27 pm 09 Dec 10

The Dark said :

MAYBE WE SHOULD BAN PEOPLE DRINKING OR TALKING LOUDLY OR LAUGHING TOO MUCH OR GENERALLY ENJOYING AN OUTDOOR EATING/DRINKING AREA AS IT IS MEANT TO BE ENJOYED, WOULD THAT BE AN OK NEXT STEP FOR RIDICULE AND EVENTUAL OUTLAWING NOW?

Strawman argument is made of straw…and is a man…

hax hax 11:12 am 09 Dec 10

Tooks said :

What I’ll never understand is why people still take up the habit armed with the knowledge of what damage is caused by smoking. I guess it’s still considered cool to the young ‘uns.

Only the first few are by choice, so trying it only a couple times times ‘just to see what its like’ next thing you know you need to have another. Quitting smoking is as easy as quitting food and slowly starving to death with your favorite meal sitting right in front of you! (it’s f**ing hard.. a non-smoker will never understand. period.)

I’d just like to say, as a smoker, I hate :

1. The Government : For continuing to allow cigarettes to be legal, and taxing the crap out of it. Nice one. May as well put a 500% tax on all food, and wonder why people keep on struggling to buy the stuff.

2. Smokers : Specifically the ones who WANT to smoke, and defend smoking (idiots)

3. Non-Smokers : Who think people should have the freedom to “choose” to smoke. (this does not help point #1). I wish non-smokers would have a stronger opinion to have smokes banned all-together. It’s not a choice for most, we’re FCKING tax slaves ffs. Its sick, yet many stand by and think it’s funny because smokers ‘must just be stupid’.

jforgeo jforgeo 10:56 am 09 Dec 10

Buzz2600 said :

The Dark said :

just wondering, can anyone ELSE who’s thinking of using this thread just to bag on smokers some more just p*ss off?

Seriously, do we really offend you that much? Is this one thing that we do really THAT awful?

Hahahahaha!

It’s a glorious day for or all us NON-smokers who have had to put up with your putrid, offensive stink for way too long. We can now enjoy the fresh outdoors while eating a drinking. Woo Hoo!

Is there a law to stop someone standing next to the table where you sit outside in the cafe and having a cigarette??

DarkLadyWolfMother DarkLadyWolfMother 10:51 am 09 Dec 10

As a non-smoker, with many smoking friends, this really pisses me off.

I’ve said for ages that we should leave it up to the cafes/clubs/pubs/whatever to advertise whether they allow smoking or not, and let the people decide which they’ll go to.

Apparently that’s too difficult so instead we get strong armed.

I do wonder where the extra taxes would come from if everyone gave up smoking….

Thumper Thumper 10:15 am 09 Dec 10

I applaud katy for this decision but she hasn’t gone far enough. All smokers should be taken away to government sponsored clinics where they can be treated for their addiction and once cured. Once cured then they can be allowed back into society.

Tooks Tooks 10:04 am 09 Dec 10

What I’ll never understand is why people still take up the habit armed with the knowledge of what damage is caused by smoking. I guess it’s still considered cool to the young ‘uns.

I’m not a smoker, but to be honest, sitting outside with smokers doesn’t bother me too much. I guess eventually the smokers will only be allowed to smoke in their own homes; it’s only a matter of time.

eh_steve eh_steve 9:58 am 09 Dec 10

I think that as mentioned in the original article the biggest loser out of all this are the clubs who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on some pretty major renovations to comply with the laws of the time.

Disinformation Disinformation 9:39 am 09 Dec 10

I think it should be a 1000 dollar, on the spot fine for people that throw cigarette butts on the ground. The aggregation of cigarette butts in public places annoys me far more than smoking does. It’s almost as if smokers think they have a right to litter.
I welcome the ever shrinking rights of smokers. I used to cheer when smokes got more expensive and then was disheartened to realise that somewhere, some kid won’t get enough to eat because mummy and daddy need to spend more on smokes now.
I hate that organisations make money out of the frailities of human beings and that these same human beings fight to be allowed to do so. Of the two people who I’ve seen die from smoking induced diseases, both of them bitterly regretted smoking at the end, when it did them the least good. Smoking has never improved the lives of any smokers. It’s sure degraded the lives of more than just inhalers. So if you smoke, continue to cling to the hope that you won’t be affected by it. You’ll most likely eventually live to regret it, but probably not for very long after you’ve changed your mind. You’ll eventually serve as a bad example to the future generations that wondered how humans could be so stupid.

Buzz2600 Buzz2600 9:36 am 09 Dec 10

The Dark said :

just wondering, can anyone ELSE who’s thinking of using this thread just to bag on smokers some more just p*ss off?

Seriously, do we really offend you that much? Is this one thing that we do really THAT awful?

Hahahahaha!

It’s a glorious day for or all us NON-smokers who have had to put up with your putrid, offensive stink for way too long. We can now enjoy the fresh outdoors while eating a drinking. Woo Hoo!

jforgeo jforgeo 9:08 am 09 Dec 10

Brianna, short answer, the govt saying what the taxes are used for is probably not going to happen, but as far as the taxes coming in, tobacco tax equates to about 2.5% of government and state revenue. The government (state and federal combined make 5.5 billion per year in taxes from smokers. The impact on the medical system of smokers (not the “total cost of smoking” as often reported by anti smoking groups,but including medical hospital, nursing home and pharmaceutical) is 1 billion per year.
As far as smokers being denied free health care, I’m ok with that actually, just show me what the other 4 billion I and other smokers are putting in to the economy does for us. Alternately, feel free to thank the smokers for the 4 billion they are putting towards the free health care for non smokers.
BTW, all the stats come from ABS and ATO.

Thumper Thumper 9:06 am 09 Dec 10

I wonder how long it will be before Katy and this government brings in a blanket 0.05 drinking limit for everyone, not just drivers.

After all, you know it is for your own good.

belray belray 8:21 am 09 Dec 10

The Dark said :

just wondering, can anyone ELSE who’s thinking of using this thread just to bag on smokers some more just p*ss off?

Seriously, do we really offend you that much? Is this one thing that we do really THAT awful?

On a more productive note does the introduction of this new law mean that if I get enough people together to complain about something that a minority of people does near me at any given time at a cafe/restaurant/whatever then we as the majority can get it outlawed even if the ‘medical evidence’ proves it doesn’t really have any affect on me? Do we have the right to do that now?

Speaking of which, something I’ve noticed lately is the large number of public servant type ladies that come Friday night make there way to pubs around Canberra and sit in the beer garden (around smokers, by choice), consume a small amount of alcohol and then proceed to scream stories/gossip/etc at each other, which then turns into a barrage of laughter.

MAYBE WE SHOULD BAN PEOPLE DRINKING OR TALKING LOUDLY OR LAUGHING TOO MUCH OR GENERALLY ENJOYING AN OUTDOOR EATING/DRINKING AREA AS IT IS MEANT TO BE ENJOYED, WOULD THAT BE AN OK NEXT STEP FOR RIDICULE AND EVENTUAL OUTLAWING NOW?

Maaate. Drinking and loud coversation or laughter doesn’t leave me smelling like a stale ashtray for the rest of the evening, nor do I have to have my suit or other clothing dry cleaned to get the stench out. You ask if what you do is that awful? No, I don’t think it is that awful; however, I certainly don’t want to be subjected to your second hand smoke – not so much for health reasons, but for clenliness and personal hygene reasons.

I can recall one busy evening recently out the front of King O’Malleys where for some reason, all the smokers appeared to light up at the same time. It was like fog and very hard on the lungs and eyes. I eventually went inside – which was a shame, because it was a lovely evening outside. The fact of the matter is that I shouldn’t have had to move. If the people next to me had been arguing or fighting I wouldn’t have had to move – the bouncers would have ejected them quick smart.

I am sure you would get upset if you were trying to have a refreshing beer with your girl or bloke one Friday evening when all of a sudden, you are surrounded by five drinkers reeking of BO. It is the same thing. Would you move from your comfortable drinking possie because of that? I would hazard a guess and say probably not. The management would usually have the right to ask the BO people to leave if enough complaints were made, as it imposes on the reasonable enjoyment of others. The alternative of course is that all the clean people leave the area and the five BO brothers have the beer garden to themselves – hmmmmm, I don’t see the fairness or logic there.

Most licensed establishments have some form of dress regulation and code of conduct that its patrons must obey if they want to drink in the establishment. Nobody kicks up a stink about that, because it is designed for the comfort of the majority of the patrons. I can’t see how this is different, aside from the emotion which is attached to Government telling us what we can and can’t do, which is all part of governing.

In the 80’s and early 90’s, the majority of the people I socialised with and family smoked. There were only one or two (out of say 30) who didn’t. Now the opposite is true, so may I suggest that the majority has spoken????

Anyway like I have alluded to, I don’t begrudge smokers the right to have a darb or 10 free 10 minute smoke breaks per day; I do however applaud the decision.

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