Health groups in Victoria are calling for the state government to follow the example set by the rest of the country and ban smoking at selected outdoor venues.
Four of the state's leading organisations – Quit Victoria, the Australian Medical Association, the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Council – have made a submission to health minister David Davis requesting a smoking ban in outdoor dining and drinking areas, as well as children's playgrounds and public transport stops.
According to Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie, the majority of Victorians support the ban – particularly in areas where children are present.
"Smoking bans do really assist smokers who have quit to stay on track and not relapse," she told APP sources yesterday (April 26).
The proposed ban could provide the incentive to some Victorians to take action to quit smoking – and those with private health insurance may be able to access lifestyle management programs to help them do so.
New South Wales announced plans to introduce similar legislation in February, prohibiting smoking in sports grounds, swimming pools, entrances to buildings and public transport stops.