Features and Explainers

The smokers are going hungry…

The new smoking regulations in Victoria are drying out service in out door areas of cafes and pubs.

The new strict laws on the use of the tobacco has advanced further with new laws banning smoking in outdoor areas or cafes, restaurants and anywhere there is food being served.

The new legislation says that smoking is only allowed in restaurants and pubs when there is a four-meter gap between smokers and other patrons. Or the café has to have a 2.1 metre high plastic wall that stops the second hand smoke from affecting the non smokers in the café.

There is over 73 per cent of Victorians community that support the introduction of the ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas.


31.3 per cent of men and 23.7 per cent of women have quit smoking in Victoria.

A 20 year old retail worker said ‘I think it’s fantastic and about time. Vic is so behind with these laws’

‘These laws are already in Queensland, and I think it’s good, why should people be able to smoke and then give the non smokers, or those trying to quit second hand smoke while we eat.’

The cancer council Australia was one of the main people pushing this new regulation forward, hoping the end result be smoking banned all together.

A North Melbourne 7/11 said ‘we have noticed a small change in sales of cigarettes since the new laws have been released, but nothing to dramatic at all.’

‘ I think it’s good because if you want to smoke you can just smoke when you are walking instead of ruining the dining room experience for others.’

The oak Leigh café has put a ban to food service because of the new law, as they believe this it is a big part of their customers experience when coming to the café.

A 21 year old diesel mechanic said ‘The new law is just painful for us and everyone who works in cafes’

‘When I was working in south Australia they would just leave the food on a table inside and we just had to go get It, because they couldn’t serve it to us, but we were still smoking and eating at the same time.’

‘our local pub the outdoor section which is normally packed was empty the other night, with all the smokers crammed into a little walk way section’

This is an interesting point because It shows that cafes are actually being sneaky around the new laws and just serving the food on a table inside and getting the customers to come inside and get it. Which means that they are not breaking the law of no food being ‘served’ in smokers areas.

The smoking rates in Australia has been steadily declining over the last few years due to the new laws and regulations being put in place. The smoking rate has almost halved since 1980. So maybe this law will help in bringing down the numbers of smokers in Victoria.

The new regulation is affecting both smokers and non-smokers, smokers are upset about the new law because it is giving them less places to smoke, and feels that it is affecting the cafes as well as the smokers. And the non smokers and café owners are frustrated with the laws as it’s going to affect sales in their cafes as not so many people will be coming to cafes to have a smoke and a bite to eat.

Non smokers believe that it is a great new regulation because no one likes second hand smoke when they are eating. The new law is getting mixed reviews on if it is the right decision for Victoria. But in saying that this law has already been present in other states, and Victoria is one of the last cities.

There are lots of different views when it comes to this new regulation. The non smoking regulation has been present in other cities for years it was just a matter of time before it became reality for Victoria.

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