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Sunday, January 01, 2006

HAPPY NEW SMOKE-FREE YEAR - David Llewellyn, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

HAPPY NEW SMOKE-FREE YEAR -

Patrons and hospitality workers in Tasmania will be the first in the nation to breathe easier from tomorrow when it becomes illegal to smoke in hotels and bars.

Deputy Premier David Llewellyn today reminded all Tasmanians that the ban on smoking inside pubs and clubs would kick in at midnight tonight.

“When Tasmanians countdown to the New Year, they will be counting down to a healthier, smoke-free one too,” he said.

“The total ban on lighting up in hotels and bars is a New Year’s resolution that Tasmania is the first State in Australia to make.

“Once again, Tasmania is leading the nation in the fight against tobacco use and all its terrible consequences.

“It is an achievement of which we can be proud, and one that will safeguard the health of bar patrons and particularly bar workers who are exposed to more environmental tobacco smoke at work than anyone else.

“It is possible that the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke have actually been underestimated.

“For example, it has been shown that just 30 minutes of passive smoking can impair coronary artery blood flow in the hearts of healthy non-smokers.

“Smoke from cigarettes releases many toxic substances into the air that can be breathed in by others.

“One study showed that three cigarettes burning over 30 minutes produced 10 times more particles than a two-litre diesel engine vehicle idling for the same period.

“The total ban on smoking in all hotels and bars has received overwhelming public support.

“It means that hospitality workers and the public will finally be able to enjoy the benefits of a smoke-free environment inside these social venues.

“While many hotels and bars will be providing outdoor smoking areas as of tomorrow, they will be unable to offer outdoor service.

“I urge patrons to remember that staff and management are not being difficult – they are just adhering to the new law.

“The new ban is an excellent examples of the Government’s commitment to progressing Tasmania Together anti-smoking targets.

“They aim to halve smoking rates from about 20 percent of the population to 10 percent by the year 2020.

“Tasmania’s pace-setting work in this area is an investment in the future health of everyone, because we know that smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of premature disease and death in the State.”

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