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Council takes smoking off the menu

21 June, 2013Posted in: Community, Environment
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Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding residents and businesses that Council owned dining areas in the Southern Highlands will become smoke free from 1 July 2013.

Smoke free dining areas will be identified by shop front window signage in all relevant businesses.

This includes footpaths and some purpose built outdoor dining areas in Bowral, except for Corbett Plaza which is temporarily exempt until 8 November when it will also become smoke free.

The push for smoke free outdoor dining originated from feedback received by Council in late 2011 relating to the Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy. Council subsequently sought community feedback regarding a proposal for smoke free outdoor dining for Council managed land.

Feedback received from the community showed 91 per cent support for the proposal, while more than half of businesses that responded were in favour of smoke free outdoor dining.

The Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy adopted by Council earlier this year aims to raise awareness and minimise the harmful effects of smoking, including passive or second-hand smoking. This includes improving community health, local amenity and the natural environment.

Council’s policy provides support for recently introduced NSW Government legislation which prohibits smoking in and around certain facilities such as public swimming pools, sports grounds, children’s play equipment, bus stops, taxi ranks and public building access points.

Council’s policy extends the prohibition to include within 10 metres of Council owned buildings and outdoor dining areas.

State government legislation banning smoking in commercial outdoor dining areas will also come into effect from 6 July 2015.

The policy is primarily supported by self-enforcement within the community, and smoke free dining has been integrated into outdoor dining licence agreements, requiring the licensee of the business to ensure the area remains smoke free.

NSW Health is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 and NSW Health Inspectors are authorised to enforce the state legislation.

For information about smoke free outdoor dining on Council managed land, please visit Council’s website: www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/smoke-free-outdoor-dining

For information about the NSW State Government legislation regarding smoking in outdoor places, please visit the NSW Health website:www.health.nsw.gov.au/tobacco