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Puffers run out of places

Wednesday, 28th May, 2014

Managers of The Silly Goat, Gideon Keenan and sister Emily, outside their cafe in Argent Street. Managers of The Silly Goat, Gideon Keenan and sister Emily, outside their cafe in Argent Street.

Smoking will soon be off the menu for outdoor diners in the city.

Local businesses and patrons have taken the initiative in ensuring tastier, healthier meals by clearing the air in preparation for incoming smoke-free legislation.

The new legislation, effective July 6, 2015, will make it mandatory that all outdoor or “alfresco” dining areas become smoke free. 

This will mark the last stage of implementing the amendments to the Smoke Free Environment Act that came into effect January 7, 2013.

“Though venues with alfresco dining have until 2015 before smoke free areas become mandatory, there is nothing to prevent venues from electing to become smoke free before this date,” Vanessa Linde, Health Promotion Officer, Far West Local Health District, said.

“Out of concern for the wellbeing of staff and the general public, businesses throughout the region are supporting the rights of non-smokers by sending a clear message that smoke is now permanently off the menu.”

Manager of local cafe, The Silly Goat, Emily Keenan welcomed the change.

“There’s no arguing that smoking is bad for our health. Now we can give everyone the freedom of enjoying our food in a smoke free environment,” Ms Keenan said.

“Mums like to sit outside without the worry of their babies and children breathing second-hand smoke.”

The ‘Take Smoke Off the Menu’ project also complements the cafe’s involvement in the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ program. 

Co-owner of Alfresco’s Cafe, John Perry, said many smokers are accustomed to the changes. Alfresco’s has an outdoor smoking section and a non-smoking section.

“Smokers have had their privileges reduced. I think they are expecting it. It’s been in the media a fair bit.

“We are just trying to make customers aware.”

Mr Perry said a number of customers do request to be seated in the smoking area.

“It is reasonably popular. Hopefully it won’t have much of an impact on business,” he said. “I think the main reason behind it is safety for our staff.”

Executive Officer of the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce, Anne Bransdon, said there hasn’t been much feedback from their members.

“I think businesses are preparing for it, with smoke-free signs,” she said.

“The Chamber of Commerce supports healthy work environments as do all of our members.”

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