Anti-smoking measures move a step closer to becoming law

By Calvin Palmer

Western Australia looks set to join the ever growing number of democratic governments imposing bans on smokers.

Janet Woollard, sponsor of anti-smoking legislation.

Janet Woollard, sponsor of anti-smoking legislation.

New anti-smoking measures have passed the Lower House of Parliament and the Bill’s sponsor, London-born Independent MP Janet Woollard, is hopeful it will be passed by Parliament’s Legislative Council as early as next week.

Woollard’s draconian measures include a ban on smoking within 10 meters (33 feet) of playgrounds, in cars carrying children under the age of 16, in the outdoor areas of cafés and restaurants, in at least 50 percent of outdoor areas of hotels and in designated beach bathing areas.

Cigarette advertising will be banned in all shops, while outlets other than tobacconists will be required to keep tobacco products under the counter or in a drawer where they are hidden from view.

And that is a watered-down version of the original Bill. Originally, Woollard had sought a ban on smoking in all outdoor areas of hotels. What made her let hotels off the hook?

Restaurant and café owners found to be in breach of the laws will be liable for fines of up to A$2,000 ($1,535).

Citizens found flouting the law face an initial A$200 fine ($153), while repeat offenders can receive a penalty of A$1,000 ($768).

Similar laws are due to come into effect in New South Wales from July 1.

But why is Woollard pussy-footing around with these childish restrictions and puny fines? She should don her jackboots, unfurl the swastika and introduce legislation to round up every smoker in the state, Australia, the world, and bring a final solution to the problem of smokers and second-hand tobacco smoke.

And , sadly, I can see some of you nodding in agreement.

[Based on a report by the Melbourne Herald Sun.]

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1 Comment

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One response to “Anti-smoking measures move a step closer to becoming law

  1. farnleywortleygreens

    I’m a non-smoker but I think the smoking ban in the UK has had some harmful and unexpected side effects. The traditional British pub is under threat for starters. A combination of cheap alcohol available at the supermarket, and the ban on smoking within the public house have had a savage effect on custom. Standing outside in a specially constructed area may work in warmer climes, or for a few months of the year here, but having to make a ritual departure into the cold for quick ciggie is clearly unappealing. We are seeing many pubs shutting and being boarded up. A number of the Leeds pubs I frequented had a smoke-free room if non-smokers felt they wished to get away from the “dangers” of passive smoking. To be honest I rarely used them but they were popular. Surely that would be a workable compromise? It might also return the pubs to a traditional characterful collection of rooms and “snugs” rather than the large open plan soulless venues many have become.

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