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NSW to ban smoking at playgrounds, sports grounds and swimming pools

February 21, 2012
The NSW Government is to introduce a ban on smoking at playgrounds, public sports grounds, swimming pools, public transport stops and entrances to public buildings.
The ban, introduced under the NSW Tobacco Strategy, will also include a smoking ban in commercial outdoor dining areas from 2015.
Introducing the changes, NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner stated "reducing the harm which tobacco inflicts on our community is a key priority for the O'Farrell Government.
"The distress and cost that smoking inflicts on families, and the burden this imposes on NSW's health system, is simply not acceptable.
"This is a cornerstone of the NSW Government's strengthened commitment to preventive health, to keep people healthy and out of hospital."
The planned changes follow Queensland Government anti-smoking legislation which prohibits smoking in commercial outdoor eating and drinking areas and in outdoor public places (such as patrolled beaches, children's playground equipment, major sport stadiums, and within four metres of non-residential building entrances).
Pressure is also mounting for the Victoria Government to introduce a similar ban.
However, Victorian Health Minister David Davis is yet to commit to similar regulations, saying he is assessing the merits of different approaches taken by local councils here.
Minister Davis told Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper "in this area it's very important to take steps that have broad support and do so in a way that is guaranteed to get the outcome that's required."
Meanwhile, the City of Melbourne is investigating a smoking ban at playgrounds and outside community and childcare centres while the Municipal Association of Victoria is calling for uniform laws to eliminate confusion caused by the various council policies.

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