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New outdoor smoking laws from 9th December. 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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57 Responses to New outdoor smoking laws from 9th December.
Jethro Jethro 10:03 pm 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. 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.

On my many visits to Calvary Maternity ward with Ma Bodine I always enjoy the inevitable push through the throng of smoking pregnant women and new mothers and fathers (with newborns in tow) hanging out at the front entrance to the maternity building right next to the ‘no smoking’ sign.

grumpyrhonda grumpyrhonda 7:07 pm 13 Sep 10

I quit smoking 16 years ago and it grieves me to see how much crap smokers get shoved on them. For a habit that is still legal, there are an awful lot of restrictions.

Many years ago, I was sitting by myself, having a smoke when a friend came up and sat with me. She then abused me for smoking near her. It seems to me that sometimes non-smokers go out of their way to create a problem.
I used to go to the pubs and clubs on occasion. The smoke didn’t bother me. Even now, 16 years later, I have no problem sitting with friends who are also smokers.

The fact that out door eating areas are now going to be smoke free annoys me. How about shifting your tables and chairs inside. As a pedestrian, I’m fed up with having to duck and weave the cafe latte sipping crowd.

Hadley Hadley 4:59 pm 13 Sep 10

Well, yes, coffee isn’t good for me either, but it also doesn’t harm other coffee drinkers. Unless my enjoyment of coffee revolved around scalding people in the face with it when they are being incredibly patronising as you have mentioned Rossco is.

It is true — I didn’t make that post so I would get a vigorous scratch on the chin for being such a nice smoker, it was to make sure you’re aware that your problem isn’t people addicted to nicotine, your problem is your friends are jerks, and you’re incredibly over sensitive and so passive aggressive that instead of saying “I’m freezing my balls off, let’s go inside and warm up for a bit” you chose to storm out with a flourish that would do The Bold & The Beautiful proud and then post about it on the internet.

Bane Bane 4:49 pm 13 Sep 10

Jeez Rossco, get over it! You had a crappy night out in the cold, we get it! It’s no reason to ban something just cause you were outnumbered by smokers on your night out. Get some new friends if it bothers you that much

And stop being so patronising, giving Hadley a little pat on the head for choosing your opinion of the “right” option. Funny how you mention having a coffee as being an acceptable alternative; you do realise caffeine is also an addictive stimulant that can be fatal? Stop whining…

Bane Bane 4:43 pm 13 Sep 10

lol well said on all counts, Hadley!

Hadley Hadley 4:40 pm 13 Sep 10

No, no, I’m massively addicted. But walking to the car park (like I have to do at my place of employment — fifteen metres away from the building) is not such a massive inconvenience that I will stop doing other things I enjoy, i.e. going to the pub. The Phoenix has had a smoking ban coupled with no beer garden for years, and I have no issue with putting my beer down, leaving, smoking, and coming back inside.

Rossco Downunder Rossco Downunder 4:29 pm 13 Sep 10

Hi Hadley,

You said “One of my favourite things to do is sit in a cafe with a coffee and a cigarette and if that upsets someone near me then I will move or put it out. This smoking ban, while making me sad, will also essentially be helping me to help myself, and stop smoking around other people full stop, which is a positive thing.”

Given the above then clearly you’re one of the better smokers who concede that the new measures might be for the good of yourself as well as others. Perhaps, you’re also less addicted than the two I’m talking about who will often light a cigarette off their prior one.

Comparing your post to dvaey’s at #19 you’d observe that you are also a thinking that faced with the following alternatives;
a) Give up the smokes so I can enjoy my club or;
b) Give up the club so I can enjoy my smokes.

…you sound like you’d probably choose a). Good on you. You have distinguished yourself from the sort of behaviour (screwed priorities) that I’m talking about. You rate socialisation and other comforts in life (coffee for eg) higher than the smokes and forced to choose would choose wisely. However, I think in my friends’ cases it is because they are so massively addicted that they think others are supposed to make allowances for something that compels them so strongly. (Apparently, -4c with a wind chill factor is not enough to break through – which I’m not sure fits with the egotist diagnosis. This is addiction).

Roadrage77 Roadrage77 4:24 pm 13 Sep 10

Inhaling a bit of second had smoke is all part of the atmosphere of a club in my opinion, and in small doses it isn’t gonna kill you. Take all the smokers out of a pub and suddenly what you have is very banal place akin to somewhere like the Kennedy Room.. Do we want to see more good pubs like Filthy’s go the way of the Thylacine because of irrationally prohibitive legislation?

Maybe having a schooner and a dart on a Friday arvo is the one guilty pleasure someone has in their life? I think it’s cruel that we should deprive them especially when there’s plenty smoke-free places around to keep the sticklers happy.

P.S. I am a non-smoker.

Hadley Hadley 3:55 pm 13 Sep 10

Hi Rossco, I think you may have mistakenly been using the term ‘smokers’ instead of ‘some smokers I know’. Sometimes people with sit outside with me when I smoke and sometimes I will sit inside with people and not smoke. I cannot think of a single incident when I have left a conversation to go and have a cigarette and returned, only to demand, wild eyed, that everyone start the conversation again from the point that I left. That is not the behavior of someone addicted to nicotine, that is the behavior of a psychotic egotist, and while some people who smoke are probably psychotic egotists it is equally true that some people who do not smoke are also psychotic egotists. Maybe you just need friends who aren’t douchebags?

I think a lot of these discussions are more douchebag related than smoker related. I admit I am guilty of smoking in public places, and I also agree that “it’s might right to smoke” means nothing because as soon as I smoke in a public place with other people in it, smokers or non-smokers, I am choosing for them to smoke as well.

I hear these horror stories about people who have asked smokers to not smoke near them and the smoker has replied by brutally stabbing their head to death — who are these people?! Not many people I know who smoke are also liable to turn into the Ainslie Axe Murderer when they’re asked to smoke away from someone. Even in smoking areas I would move away from someone if my smoking was bothering them.

That said, again, I feel the onus should be on me, the smoker, to say do you mind if I smoke, rather than the person (smokee?) asking me to move, but yes, as Rossco says, the addiction runs deep and I will favour nicotine over hunting and gathering and making sure my presumably adult friends are warm enough at all times.

One of my favourite things to do is sit in a cafe with a coffee and a cigarette and if that upsets someone near me then I will move or put it out. This smoking ban, while making me sad, will also essentially be helping me to help myself, and stop smoking around other people full stop, which is a positive thing.

On other news: trevar, did some sort of evil gang of chain smoking assassins murder your entire clean-living ninja clan, leaving only you to avenge them?

jasere jasere 3:52 pm 13 Sep 10

Couldn’t come any sooner while there at it time for another tax rise, be a crack to see them t $25 -$30 a packet. And to hear the walking dead cry “cough” “cough” cry about it.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 3:51 pm 13 Sep 10

fgzk said :

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

Get your cancer somewhere else, some of us are trying to eat.

Rossco Downunder Rossco Downunder 3:36 pm 13 Sep 10

dvaey said :

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.

This is kind-of a case in point about what I’m talking about. This person was faced with the following alternatives;
a) Give up the smokes so I can enjoy my club or;
b) Give up the club so I can enjoy my smokes.

Clearly, s/he chose b).

Amongst this social group are there non-smokers who gave up their club for no reason save perhaps continued social interaction with the smokers? Out of the smokers and non-smokers here who acted on the better motive?
Did this person lose a club or gain a backyard? I think the backyard was probably already there.
Is the smoking relegated to the backyard because it’s problematic even at home? Perhaps you could solve the problem by giving up?
Are there non-smokers freezing their anatomy off in your backyard when they could be inside your house or at a comfortable club but for YOUR smoking?
Did you notice conversations around your barbie improved because you didn’t keep wandering off for a fix 3 times an hour?

Really smokers why do you expect ANY ALLOWANCE WHATSOEVER because you’re to weak willed to give up. Why should club, pub and restaurant revenues to be spent on your dwindling, antisocial minority.

Rossco Downunder Rossco Downunder 3:11 pm 13 Sep 10

No, I’m merely pointing out that their behaviour is quite odd. Even if I was not even there… their addiction has meant that they will endure freezing cold and in the case of one of them give cigarettes preference over food in his budgeting. Even the smokers seem to fail to realise they are missing half of the conversations whilst they’re outside. If their non-smoking friend follows it’s not because they need to be out there – it is the smoker’s need.

They will even say they were at the club when they actually sat outside it. Is this some technicality? If they smoked in the carpark would they think they were “at the club”?

(Maybe this is like they think they’re “at work” when they’re outside having a smoke)?

That I was meant to fall in line with this irrational (read: addiction motivated) behaviour just shows the selfish nature of the addicted.

So, basic instincts like “seek shelter” & “seek food” play second place to the nicotine. Conversation (one of the other reasons to be at a club) also takes second place to nicotine. They just wander in and out constantly taking the conversation back to where it was when you went out to have your “fix” giving the non-smokers who remained a conversation like it was “Groundhog Day”. Smokers: When you return to the table are you really oblivious to the people looking exasperated when the conversation has to be reset for your benefit?

My previous post was meant to be all about the totally screwed-up priorities of these smokers. Nicotine first, everything else is further down the list. Food, shelter, friendship, health, etc… are not further up the priorities than the mighty nicotine.

I had the choice to follow them or not (as madame workalot points out I was not tied to the chair) these smokers also have the choice to give it up. Then we can all sit *IN* the club and have conversations that are not discontinuous.

And for the record… I did eventually get sufficiently pissed-off and depart. Point is: But for THEIR addiction (selfish in-extreme) we could have sat *IN* the club. Why was I meant to have to make choices based on someone else’s addiction? How about they make a choice about their addiction – and defeat it!

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 2:37 pm 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.

…allowing self-righteous smokers to cough and splutter their way to a pyrrhic victory!

inlymbo inlymbo 1:57 pm 13 Sep 10

We experienced the change over of smoking laws in outdoor areas when living in QLD.

It worked well.

No smoking in outdoor areas of cafes, restaurants, sporting events basically everywhere that was not a private residence. It was GREAT.

We lived in FNQ for two years, and rediscovered the ‘joys’ of trying to have a meal or coffee in an outdoor area with smokers upon our return to Canberra. We had not been in the vicinity of ciggy smoke for two years. Gosh it stinks here, particularly in areas where a lot of cafes have outdoor seating, thinking Guses and Essen etc. Poor old Garema place is a haze during peak lunch time periods.

Food and cigarette smoke do not go together, bring on the rules I say.

Canberra was one of the first places to ban smoking inside these places I think? It seems we are ‘draggin’ the ‘chain’ on this issue.

Madame Workalot Madame Workalot 1:36 pm 13 Sep 10

Rossco Downunder said :

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. .

Er, am I missing something here? Did your mates tie you to a chair? If you were so worried about getting cold, why didn’t you sit inside while your mates exercised their right of choice, and sat outside?

Oh, that’s right – easier to just blame those filthy smokers for all your ails.

Bane Bane 1:30 pm 13 Sep 10

Rossco Downunder said :

I was recently in a situation with two friends of mine whose smoking led to a less-than-pleasant evening.
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.

So you want to make smoking illegal so you can force your friends to do what you want to do to ensure you enjoy your own night out? It’s hardly a “suspension of manners” if they’ve gone outside away from everyone else to smoke. Sounds like your friends were happily sitting outside the club having their conversation…you’re the one who was whinging

What a strange post…

astrojax astrojax 1:30 pm 13 Sep 10

fgzk said :

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

discounting the sarcasm intended, to respond to the actual point (which i have heard made in earnest, hence the response – not directed at you, fgzk) but ‘go get your lung cancer somewhere else.’

if an establishment wants people to eat then the patron should be able to expect an environment where s/he isn’t sharing the food and beverage with someone else’s smoke, that has both been inside their bodies [eughw!] and is in itself toxic.

p1 p1 1:06 pm 13 Sep 10

I’d be interested to see what would happen if the ACT government gave clubs in Canberra the option of allowing smoking inside it they got rid of all the pokies.

sirocco sirocco 1:03 pm 13 Sep 10

dvaey said :

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?

It turns out annual revenue in the hospitality industry has not fallen but actually increased (not more, nothing over-the-top, just a steady, regular increase like before) since these anti-smoking laws have passed.

I’m not sure anyone noticed the drop in smoker-revenue you describe or maybe smokers have just accepted the changes and smoked where they are asked to.

Or maybe the number of smokers overall has declined at the same rate that smokers like yourself have decided to stay at home.

Your change in drinking/smoking habits might instead correlate more with a change in age?

I’ve heard your arguement before from the same crusty old barflies at the end of the bar: “well, when I can’t smoke while perched on this bar inside I’ll never come out again and just you wait, you’ll see, no one will come out after these new laws are passed”

We never missed them, they either came back or were replaced by people who complied with the new legislation. And business kept on truckin’

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