A new policy to allow smokers to smoke outdoors in Victoria has sparked calls for more restrictions around indoor smoking.
Key points:The state’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said the state’s laws have to protect the health of people and animals, and to be reasonable and practicalThe department said that outdoor smoking was not banned in Victoria, but that it was only allowed in areas where it is not dangerousThe policy, introduced by Environment Minister Michael Gunner, states that outdoor smokers are not allowed to smoke in public places, or in parks or other public areas.
Mr Gunner said there are currently no restrictions on indoor smoking, but he said there was room for improvement.
“I think the public has been misled,” he said.
“What we are talking about here is the principle that it’s not allowed in a public place, but the public would argue it’s safe.”
Mr Gunneer said he did not believe outdoor smoking would be a problem in Victoria and said that the department was not talking about banning indoor smoking entirely.
“There are no specific outdoor smoking restrictions in the Victorian laws,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“However, we are aware of some concerns around indoor lighting, and there’s no specific legislation that deals with that.”
Mr Haggie, the environmental specialist, said he understood the concerns and urged people to not be afraid to take their lives outdoors.
“We’ve been saying for a long time that smoking indoors is dangerous,” he added.
“You can smoke outdoors, but it’s also dangerous because the fumes from your breath are inhaled into your lungs and that’s potentially lethal.”
He said it was important for smokers to be aware of the laws around indoor use.
“For those who smoke indoors, they are being told that they are not able to smoke outside,” Mr Haggies said.
“That’s not true.
They are not being told they are forbidden from smoking indoors, so we’ve got to be careful that we are not going to get a situation where it’s only one person in a group smoking.”
Mr Justice Haggs said it would be inappropriate to make the decision about indoor smoking in Victoria based on the public health advice from the Department of Health.
“The issue is, are the public’s health and welfare not being protected?” he said, adding that it would not be appropriate to “solve” the problem by changing existing laws.
“Are they being advised by the Department that smoking is not safe?
Are they not being advised that it is safe?”
Mr Justice Hoggs said.
Topics:health,environment,health-policy,environmental-policy-and-utilities,smoking,vietnam,barbecue,tas,melbourne-3000,vic,vicPrime MinisterTopics:smoking,health,healthpolicy,government-and/or-politics,government,health—administration,vital-andial-health,malcolm-hanson,vicFirst posted April 26, 2019 13:25:16Contact Adam RobertsMore stories from Victoria