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ACT passes tough new anti-smoking laws.

By Chris Mordd Richards - 8 December 2009 97

From the ABC news service – article here – the ACT legislative assembly has earlier today passed the proposed legislation to ban smoking in outdoor cafe and restaurant areas.

What annoys me personally (although im sure many RA’ers will love this) is this particular bit of the legislation as quoted from the article:

“Pubs and clubs however will be able to designate an outdoor smoking area of no more than 50 per cent of their outdoor space.”

Ms Gallagher says food and drink will not be permitted in the designated smoking areas and people under the age of 18 will not be allowed in.

So you won’t be able to smoke while drinking a beer or other beverage of any type in an outdoor area of a licensed venue anymore in 12 months time, even if the venue does not serve food.

That has to be the most tight-arsed anti-smoking laws in the country, sure I am a smoker, and I can even support the cafe/restaurant outdoor eating area aspect of this legislation, when in that situation I normally walk away to an open area anyway so as to not be smoking near people eating. To ban it in a licensed venue such as a pub or a club though, even if the venue is licensed for consumption of alcohol in that area (such as in internal beer garden as opposed to the public footpath), unless they also serve food in that area is just ridiculous.

The other aspect to this legislation is the fact that it is the last act in moving all smokers out of a designated smoking area onto the footpaths and streets, where sooner or later a vehicle accident or simply a fight on a crowded footpath results in someone being seriously injured as a result of this legislation, something highlighted to a certain extent by the Opposition, as quoted in the article:

The Opposition supported the legislation in general but health spokesman Jeremy Hanson raised some concerns.

“My concern is this will force smokers onto pavements rather than in designated smoking areas,” he said.

“If that happens then that will be a negative consequence.”

So smokers in 12 months time if you want to enjoy a drink and smoke outside, just remember NSW doesn’t have dracanion legislation like this and Queanbeyan has at least 1 nice venue with a beer garden you can smoke in.

What’s Your opinion?

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97 Responses to
ACT passes tough new anti-smoking laws.
djk 9:16 am 09 Dec 09

i am not a smoker, but i think not allowing them to drink while smoking is a little over the top.

PBO 9:16 am 09 Dec 09

kevn said :

It’s ok, soon you’ll all have to check yourselves into a fenced area of Hume to smoke, so the footpath issue is moot.

Hume: home of secret data centres and the smoking area (that is until some Telstra worker complains about the smoke).

Seriously though, If the ACT Government continues to take this stance it will only be a matter of time until they ban drinking in public bars, sounds silly i know. But think about the positive consequence that would start to occur:

Lower accident rates – drives insurance premiums and payouts down
Lower assault rate in Civic – people will want to visit the city again, local industry wins
Less of a Police presence needed
Accident and Emergency departments will be freed up by less volume of patients
Streets would be somewhat cleaner
Folks would stay at home more (maybe meet the neighbours)
No more regrettable one night stands (Good thing or bad thing?)

But this wont wash with a lot of folk as it takes away and deprives people of liberties that they have the right to enjoy and utilise as they see fit. If Ms Gallagher says that i cannot enjoy a smoke with a beer then she can try and pry it away from my cold, yellowed fingers.

Pommy bastard 9:05 am 09 Dec 09

Fully support this.

I hate it when I’m having MY LUNCH sat outside a cafe, and some thoughtless selfish asshole decides to ruin it by lighting up and stinking the area out with smoke.

sloppery 8:57 am 09 Dec 09

Great stuff. The more we keep dirty smokers away from the rest of us, especially while eating and drinking, the better.

Clown Killer 8:32 am 09 Dec 09

Whilst I feel for those businesses that have geared up to accomodate smokers with investments in beer gardens and the like, its probably about time that we just banned tobbacco products outright – with all these laws, we end up making pariahs of those enjoy a smoke.

The other thing that interests me is the idea of where all these laws come from – they’re a great example of the effectiveness of an extremely small zealous lobby that are able to influence legislators to make quite significant changes to laws that in a political sense aren’t really tagged to many votes.

Beau Locks 8:29 am 09 Dec 09

Mordd–I agree with your comments. For the record, I’m not a smoker. I find it interesting that smokers have become the new social pariahs that everyone feels okay about persecuting. Honestly, if don’t want to be around smokers, I go somewhere where people don’t smoke. We let the magic of the market decide for everything else, yet choose to regulate like buggery when it comes to smoking.

How about some more stringent laws about other stuff? Special licenses for twonks in four wheel drives that don’t actually need a four wheel drive. That’s learn ’em. (A condition of getting the license would be to do a test drive thru some really full on mud and hills and then have to change a tyre using a high lift jack on a two tonne vehicle. I reckon that’d sort out 99% of the SUV mums that you see picking kids up at Grammar, and send them back to driving a more appropriate vehicle that’d less likely to kill anything it hits.) Or what about a tax on fugly macmansions?

There are lots of things that go on in our society that are, in my opinion, far more offensive than people smoking, and probably far more costly to us all, too. Likely, tho, most of them would be political suicide to regulate or legislate around. People need to chill out and keep in mind that most of us engage in some type of activity that other people will find offensive.

captainwhorebags 8:28 am 09 Dec 09

My guess is that the food and drink ban in designated areas is for OH&S reasons. If people eat and drink, someone will have to go in there and remove plates, glasses etc.

This way, smokers can continue to enjoy their crutch without having to have hospitality staff working there way through a cloud of smoke.

Thumper 8:24 am 09 Dec 09

filthy dirty smokers should be banned from even stepping outside their houses.

oh, i meant pedophiles…

i always get them mixed up….

seems as if it is okay to discriminate against some people in our society if the government deems it so.

Kramer 7:30 am 09 Dec 09

Yay! Keep coming with the smoking clamp down ACT Govt!!

Pushing the smokers out onto footpaths is not good though, so we should probably ban smoking on footpaths, or maybe for simplicity all public areas. Then the next step is ban smoking everywhere in the ACT.

kevn 7:17 am 09 Dec 09

It’s ok, soon you’ll all have to check yourselves into a fenced area of Hume to smoke, so the footpath issue is moot.

shiny flu 6:25 am 09 Dec 09

So smokers in 12 months time if you want to enjoy a drink and smoke outside, just remember NSW doesn’t have dracanion legislation like this and Queanbeyan has at least 1 nice venue with a beer garden you can smoke in.

What’s draconian is that there are people that still think that smoking in front of others is ‘just a bother’ and not something that adversely effects their health, whether they be an asthmatic or persons that just prefer not to increase their chances of smoking (passive) related diseases.

Punter 2:05 am 09 Dec 09

You could always make an attempt to quit. I wonder what initiatives the ACT gov’t has spearheaded to assist in this way? I’m genuinely not having a shot Mordd, I am just curious to know if any support measures were considered while this was drafted and passed. I must say this is not unexpected and smokers can probably expect further restrictions. I’m a non-smoker, so I kinda feel like I’m looking into the fish bowl here.

Wanon 12:56 am 09 Dec 09

Just get over it and quit already. They’re trying to make it harder to smoke for your own benefit and the benefit of all the tax payers footing your Medicare bill.

Personally, I’ll be delighted when I don’t have to put up with smoking anywhere. But for now I’ll just have to put up with it on my way in and out of a venue.

cleo 12:15 am 09 Dec 09

It would make more sence to ban smoking while driving, and why not ban drinking!

bd84 11:42 pm 08 Dec 09

I would be happy if they changed the laws to move all smokers to Queanbeyan. However, you can be almost 100% assured that NSW will have very similar laws in the not too distant future.

Anyway, you have not mentioned in your rant thatthe minister has specifically said that pubs and clubs can designate 50% of their outdoor areas to dirty smokers, which to me is a designated area. If people want to wander off and start fights or walk in front of vehicles, that’s a totally different story. They’re just as likely to do either of those things without having a smoke in their hand if they’re drunk.

If you don’t like it, quit smoking.

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