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New outdoor smoking laws from 9th December.

UrbanAdventure.org 13 September 2010 57

I have heard a few radio adds about smoking not being allowed at outdoor restaurants in the ACT from 9th of December. As some one who has a quite severe reaction to cigarette smoke I see this as a good thing, because I’ll finally be able to sit outdoors and enjoy the sun instead of being cooped up in a restaurant avoiding smokers.

But how does it all work? I did a little Googling and found the ACT Health Website and read the fact sheet there.

It seems that licensed clubs and pubs can have outdoor smoking areas, just restaurants that primarily sell food can’t. Also, licensed pubs need to apply to have a DOSA. A Designated Outdoor Smoking Area. However, there are big fines for letting smoke from a DOSA to enter an outdoor eating or drinking area.

But how is this going to work in reality? Say I decide to head down to the local pub to enjoy a fine steak, a bit of live music and to chat with me mates outside on the porch. I’m there eating my steak and salad and from the table next door over wafts some smoke. So I say “Excuse me good sir, would you mine please putting out your cigarette. Your smoke from the DOSA is entering my eating area.” To which they reply “Go get stuffed” and I suddenly find myself wearing a glass attachment to my forehead.

I mean really, which smoking and inebriated pub going individual is really going to put out their cigarette because I happen to be eating out doors? I will more than likely get told where to go and how to get there. As for the management, they’re hardly going to tell a drunk smoker to stop smoking? Or will they? By all means management of pubs give their views on this. Also, what do others think of this? Non smokers have you found that smokers will put out their cigarettes if politely asked? Smokers, have you put out your cigarette if politely asked?

My personal experience is that on almost all occasions that I have politely asked a smoker to put out their cigarette they refuse to do so, even when directly seated underneath a 3 foot wide no smoking sign, or in clearly designated no smoking areas. I get anything from “F off” to “It’s my right to smoke” (I guess this negates my right to breathe) to people who just ignore me and go on smoking.


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New outdoor smoking laws from 9th December.
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Katietonia 12:42 pm 13 Sep 10

I don’t smoke but I can’t see why you’d go to the pub and expect there to be no smoking in the outdoor areas. Oh you want to sit in the sun, well that could give you cancer too :p

dvaey 12:35 pm 13 Sep 10

Waiting For Godot said :

I remember when smoking was banned at Woden Tradies and a few months later the legendary 83 Restaurant upstairs closed down.

I remember the old days when we’d often go to support the local club. Id often meet up with friends after work, we’d have a couple of beers, throw a few bucks in the pokies, a few bucks in the tin for the guy collecting for the salvos and maybe a quick meal. It was a regular event, probably a couple of times a week. These days, its easier to just grab a 6-pack and some steak and goto a mates house, at least we can smoke around the barbie while having a beer.

Then they brought no-smoking rules in. Im struggling to remember 5 times that Ive been to my local club since these changes, other than once for a christmas raffle. While Im sure that some non-smokers might have come in to take the place of smokers, one really has to wonder how much the community has lost from the money smokers put into the local clubs? Has the ACT government increased sponsorship of junior sports such as the AFL Canberra junior league or the Vikings? These clubs that arent getting multi-million dollar grants from the government (like the raiders and brumbies get), depend on money from club patrons.

On an unrelated note, the 83 restaurant closed down, so the tradies could turn its space into a gambling hall, presumably in part to make up for the lost revenue of the smokers no longer sitting at the pokies pumping them full of money.

trevar 12:25 pm 13 Sep 10

Deref said :

I respect people’s right to smoke providing it doesn’t inconvenience other people. The only answer I can think of is fully-enclosed smoking rooms in pubs with extractor fans venting to the roof and producing negative pressure inside the room.

Why would they need an extractor vent? These rooms should be completely sealed from the outside world after the smoker has entered. And when they’ve either suffocated or died of lung cancer, a trap door could be released underneath that delivers their worthless corpses to the House of Representatives, where they won’t be noticed.

But seriously, it is adequate to simply expect that the Designated Outdoor Fag Area should be removed some distance from the Designated Outdoor Eating Area, and that the approval process should prevent them being too close.

mooo_cow 12:24 pm 13 Sep 10

I noticed in Brisbane a bar/café had a two lines on the ground. One to inform people of the area for DOSA, then having a 1.5 meter gap before the other line for the non-smoking area. You might be able to smell it within the non-smoking area but at least you are not coping a face full of smoke.

Rossco Downunder 12:18 pm 13 Sep 10

I was recently in a situation with two friends of mine whose smoking led to a less-than-pleasant evening. Out of the 3 of us I was the only non-smoker… so in the minority. My 2 mates decided we should plant ourselves outside for the duration of the evening.

But, it was around -4c outside and windy to boot!

So, it was my mates’ concept that I should die of exposure whilst they raced to see whether it was exposure or cancer that got them first. So, you begin to note that smoking apparently causes it’s enthralled victim to ignore that part their nicotine-soaked brain that controls the “Get out of the cold you idiot” centre. Suspend good manners and make your non-smoking mate (who doesn’t need to sit out with the lepers) die of exposure. This sort of suspension of manners also seems to occur with the other brain functions and apparently allows a smoker who would not drop the wrapper on their sandwich to be able to litter freely with anything cigarette related (Especially, the butts).

So, the sooner cigarettes are just plain illegal the better! Nothing short of that will stop these die-hards. (One of the aforementioned ones is long-term unemployed and budgets more for cigarettes than he does for food – another example where nicotine apparently causes the brain to malfunction).

Really, the smokers need to think through whether they really want to sit at a club and relax with friends OR do you want miss much of the conversation commuting between your friends and the club’s leper colony outside. Who really goes to a club to sit outside it? Might as well sit in your own backyard and freeze.

Deref 11:54 am 13 Sep 10

sirocco said :

…people who, during the day are no doubt intelligent public servants or business folk, but with more a couple in them become senseless, stupid, argumentative fools.

You know, I have my doubts.

I suspect that the people who become senseless, stupid, argumentative fools when they’re drunk are senseless, stupid, argumentative fools when they’re sober. I think it’s a complete furphy that alcohol somehow converts nice people into arseholes.

BimboGeek 11:33 am 13 Sep 10

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot said :

In a perfect world self-righteous non-smokers would be banned from all licenced venues.

In a perfect world all self-righteous people would be banned from going anywhere near anyone else. I can’t stand those self-righteous jerks!!!

Sirocco – sorry bout that! You’ll be glad to know I’ve learned not to climb on tables while smoking topless and happy to keep the glassware inside the pub where it belongs! Goodness it’s just like being a teacher and telling everyone all day to tuck in their shirts and pick up their litter!!!!

sirocco 11:05 am 13 Sep 10

I worked as a non-smoking bartender/doorman/manager in several of Canberra’s nightspots. I saw the implementation of several anti-smoking laws come into effect while working to pay for uni (I even remember the first one: 50% of the indoor area had to be smoke free. Imagine how difficult it was to make that work?!). I gather that this legislation has a lot to do with protecting staff members who have to work long, late hours in this smoky environment; so it makes sense that there will be no-smoking wherever there is outdoor table service.

Another point raised by OP: “As for the management, they’re hardly going to tell a drunk smoker to stop smoking? Or will they?”

Yep: if they are a good manager or a manager who wants to keep their licence they will. As a doorman in Kingston I was constantly, politely asking drunks to not smoke inside, asking them to sit down at a seat while drinking outside (a condition of outdoor licenced areas at all venues), not to smoke within a couple of metres of the entrance, not to take glassware away from the pub, and other requests like “put your shirt back on”, “please don’t stand of the table, you animal” asking these things over and over and over and over ad nauseum and to the same drinkers over and over and over and over all night. It became terribly boring to ask people who, during the day are no doubt intelligent public servants or business folk, but with more a couple in them become senseless, stupid, argumentative fools. But you continue to ask them cos at any one time ACT Liquor Licencing might wander around the corner with a camera.

Also, if a patron asks another patron to put out the cigarette they have to be polite as hell and hope that the other patron is kind enough to comply. It takes a bit of working up to do it, it feels awkward and if it doesn’t work, as OP pointed out, you might suddenly find yourself wearing a glass attachment to your forehead. Whereas a publican/manager/doorman can ask politely once, then ask again reminding the patron of the laws, and then boot the fucker out when he/she refuses to comply. Then the staff member only has to listen to a bit of: “Ooh, aren’t you a tough guy? Making up all the rules? Power-freak! Stupid bouncer, no wonder this is the only job you can get.” etc.

Hmmm, I’m so glad I don’t work in hospitality anymore 🙂

OP – you should always feel you can ask the staff to ask the offending smoker to put out their ciggie – it’s a terrible shame if the venues you patronise won’t. Most of the staff I worked with didn’t give two hoots about “smokers’ rights”.

Jungle Jim 10:42 am 13 Sep 10

I too am a considerate smoker. If I’m smoking in a designated smoking area and haven’t noticed that a family or non smoker has sat near me with a food order on it’s way, I’ll either butt out or walk away to finish if requested (or when I see them, whichever comes first).

I actually get quite angry with some smokers myself, usually it’s the ones that drop their butt on the ground – even worse when they do that within three feet of a bin. I saw someone smoking in their car the other day with two young children in the back, driver’s window only open a crack. If they hadn’t left my line of site as quickly as they did, I would have noted their number plate and dobbed them in.

I enjoy smoking, but will not do it around children or when people are eating. I even smoke outside my own house when we have non-smoking guests over.

Like Hells Bells said, we’re not all inconsiderate thugs (even if some of us might look the part).

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot 10:14 am 13 Sep 10

Thoroughly Smashed said :

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot said :

In a perfect world self-righteous non-smokers would be banned from all licenced venues.

Ooh I like this game. How about “and smokers wouldn’t be offered free healthcare?”

Right after the overweight…….

Hells_Bells74 10:13 am 13 Sep 10

I would also try to accomodate you if you asked me to stop smoking near you, we’re not all inconsiderate of others.

I usually take myself for a little walk away from others if they’re not smoking anyhow. How far depends on the situation.

Thoroughly Smashed 10:13 am 13 Sep 10

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot said :

In a perfect world self-righteous non-smokers would be banned from all licenced venues.

Ooh I like this game. How about “and smokers wouldn’t be offered free healthcare?”

Inappropriate 10:06 am 13 Sep 10

Deref said :

There aren’t many smokers left, and those that are tend to be hard-core and not particularly concerned about the rights of others.

Are you suggesting that smokers are a dying breed?

Hells_Bells74 10:06 am 13 Sep 10

I quite like how a lot of the clubs I go to have little side outdoor rooms, similar to balconies of all sizes with some bar tables/stools or whatever. No one would eat there, it lacks that atmosphere, but for a smoker, it does the trick. I’m glad it’s away from all eating and do hope they give non-smokers a nice place to sit out in the sun with fresh air because one day again I will be one too and appreciate it.

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot 9:58 am 13 Sep 10

In a perfect world self-righteous non-smokers would be banned from all licenced venues.

Clown Killer 9:57 am 13 Sep 10

I guess establishments that want to have both – out-door smoking and out-door dining will just have to separate the two. Naturally some establishments will be better able to cope with that than others, just by the design or nature of the buildings and their access to smoking areas.

My inclination would be to see how it might work, rather than to argue from the get-go that it couldn’t work.

Deref is right though. There really aren’t that many smokers left so in two or five or ten years from know it will probably be a distant memory – which I will kind of regret actually. I had always planned to take up a pipe when I was an old man.

fgzk 9:48 am 13 Sep 10

Get your steak some where else. People drink and smoke at pubs. Try a Chardonnay at your local restaurant.

Madame Workalot 9:48 am 13 Sep 10

I’m a smoker, and unless I’m asked to put my cigarette out in a dedicated smoking area (yes, it has happened), I’ll always either butt out or move away. I will say, however, that the way some people ask is quite rude and disrespectful. It doesn’t hurt you to be polite, you know…

Waiting For Godot 9:38 am 13 Sep 10

I remember when smoking was banned at Woden Tradies and a few months later the legendary 83 Restaurant upstairs closed down.

Just an observation …

Deref 9:09 am 13 Sep 10

There aren’t many smokers left, and those that are tend to be hard-core and not particularly concerned about the rights of others. I’ve often been tempted to snap a photo of people at Canberra Hospital sitting directly under a No Smoking sign having a fag, but I’ve thought the better of it.

Appealing to their social conscience is appealing to something that most of them don’t have.

I respect people’s right to smoke providing it doesn’t inconvenience other people. The only answer I can think of is fully-enclosed smoking rooms in pubs with extractor fans venting to the roof and producing negative pressure inside the room.

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