Victoria has finally become the last Australian state to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas.
The legislation, which has been in place in Western Australia and the ACT since 2010, prohibits smokers from lighting up while food is being served.
While it doesn't explicitly include outdoor drinking areas, any within four metres of a dining area will also be covered by the laws. Businesses can dodge the four metre zone by building a wall over 2.1 metres high.
The ban covers restaurants, cafes, take-away shops, licenced premises, courtyard dining areas, footpath dining at food fairs and other outdoor events like community and street festivals.
E-cigarettes are also forbidden during food service.
Smoking may be legal in the aforementioned areas once the service of food has stopped.
According research conducted by the state government 73 per cent of Victorians are behind the new measures.
“We know that smoking kills, and we know that second-hand smoke puts the health of non-smokers at risk," said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.
"These new bans will ensure all Victorians can enjoy a meal outside with their family and friends.”
Smoking's now banned at:
- Entrances to indoor children's play centres
- Public hospitals
- Registered community health centres
- Certain Victorian government buildings
- Grounds of and entrances to childcare centres, kindgartens, preschools, primary and secondary schools
- Outdoor recreational areas including playgrounds, skate parks, sporting venues during under-age sporting events
- Outdoor areas of public swimming pools
- Patrolled beaches
- Enclosed workplaces
- Train stations
- Tram-stop platforms
- Tram and bus shelters
- Under-age music or dance events
Anyone caught puffing out of place will face a fine between $155 and $777, while businesses behaving badly could cop a $7773 fine if the matter goes to court.