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The state government has recently announced new outdoor smoking laws that will restrict where people can smoke outdoors in NSW.
Liverpool will be one of the first local government areas to apply the new smoking rules though, after the Liverpool Council approved a draft plan to ban smoking at children’s playgrounds, sportsgrounds and skate parks.
Once the state-wide ban is in place, smoking will also be banned for bus stops, taxi ranks, swimming pools and public entries.
There will also be smoking bans applied to outdoor commercial eating areas from 2015.
While smoking around children’s playgrounds and sports fields has mostly gained positive support, the idea of banning outdoor smoking at cafes and restaurants has been somewhat controversial, as I mentioned in a blog last year when the local council plans were initially revealed.
Some people are all for the idea, as it means non-smokers can dine outdoors without having to worry about breathing in second-hand smoke and there will hopefully also be less litter around town from cigarette butts.
However those who are against the ban believe that the whole point of outdoor dining is to allow people to smoke in the open-air and many local businesses are also concerned about the impact that a smoking ban will have on their customers.
Research has shown though that for every person who opposes the idea of smoke-free dining, there are seven people who are for it, so hopefully the majority of the community will be happy with the move.
Some people will be disappointed that we will have to wait until 2015 to see smoking banned at all outdoor dining areas in NSW, but at least once it is introduced it will be uniform across the state and local council areas won’t have to worry about losing business to other municipalities due to the ban.
What do Liverpool residents think about the new smoking laws – are you for or against them?