The NSW Government has released the NSW Tobacco Strategy 2012-2017 that takes action to reduce the harm which tobacco imposes on our community.
"I've been a strong advocate for the introduction of smoke-free policies since my time on Kogarah Council and have continued my advocacy in the State Parliament, including speeches and raising the issue directly with the Health Minister", Member for Oatley Mark Coure said today.
"I'm thrilled that the NSW Government is taking real action to ban smoking in outdoor areas currently frequented by children, young people and families including:
- Public sports grounds and swimming pools
- Public transport stops
- Entrances to public buildings; and
- Commercial outdoor dining areas
"Some Councils, such as Kogarah Council, already have a strong record on tackling the challenge of tobacco-related harm. Unfortunately many Councils, such as Rockdale and Hurstville Councils, have failed to take concrete steps to combat tobacco-related harm.
"In August last year I called on Rockdale and Hurstville Councils to implement smoke-free policies, but no action was forthcoming. As a result the NSW Government has stepped in. The measures outlined will be introduced and legislated later this year and stakeholders consulted on commencement dates.
"The smoking ban in all commercial outdoor dining areas will take effect on a date in 2015, to allow business sufficient time to adjust their business models and to respect the Government's Memorandum of Understanding with ClubsNSW.
"Tobacco-related harm remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in NSW and one in every two lifetime smokers will die prematurely as a result of smoking. This is without factoring in the social costs of smoking which is in the order of $8 billion annually.
"This is a great result for our community and a welcome breath of fresh air", Mr Coure concluded.