Greens move to ensure enforcement of ‘No Smoking’ rules

Greens Councillor Max Phillips will move to ensure that Marrickville Council’s rule of  ‘No Smoking’ in outdoor footpath dining areas is enforced.Quit-Smoking-Cigarettes

Since the regulation came into effect on 1 July 2011, many cafes and patrons have chosen to ignore the rule.  Some cafes continue to provide ashtrays for the use of patrons.

Exposure to smoke is not only unpleasant, particularly in dining situations, but it is dangerous to health. Smoking and the exposure to passive smoke leads to cancer and other forms of potentially fatal disease. Smoking costs our health system billions of dollars every year.
The motion will be discussed on Tuesday 19 February.  The motion calls for Council to:

1. strictly enforce the regulation prohibiting smoking in footpath outdoor dining areas;

2. provide adequate educational information to assist business owners and their customers to understand this regulation; and

3. write to owners of outdoor dining on private property and request that they enforcea similar ‘No Smoking’ rule.

To entire motion is below or download as a PDF:

Item No: C0213 Item 17

Subject: NOTICE OF MOTION: ENFORCEMENT OF ‘NO SMOKING’ IN OUTDOOR AREAS

File Ref: 4674/7715.13
From Councillor Max Phillips

MOTION:
THAT Council:
1. strictly enforce the regulation prohibiting smoking in footpath outdoor dining
areas;
2. provide adequate educational information to assist business owners and their
customers to understand this regulation; and
3. write to owners of outdoor dining on private property and request that they enforce
a similar ‘No Smoking’ rule.

Background
In December 2010 Marrickville Council resolved to prohibit smoking in outdoor dining areas on
the footpath or public land, on sports fields, within 10 metres of a playground, or within 10
metres of a Council building or facility. These regulations came into effect on 1 July 2011.
Despite this regulation, many cafes continue to flout these regulations, openly allowing
smoking in footpath outdoor dining areas and even providing ashtrays for smoking to use at
their dining tables.

Many in our community are confused as to why smoking continues in these outdoor dining
areas despite Council’s prohibition against it. Some in the community feel they are unable to
frequent certain places, especially with their children, due to the passive smoke.
The O’Farrell Government has brought in a law prohibiting smoking within 10 metres of a
playground or entrance to a public building. A law to prohibit smoking in outdoor dining areas
will come into effect in 2015.

A renewed round of education and enforcement is necessary to ensure that Council’s
regulation is not flouted.

Exposure to smoke is not only unpleasant, particularly in dining situations, but it is dangerous
to health. Smoking and the exposure to passive smoke leads to cancer and other forms of
potentially fatal disease. Smoking costs our health system billions of dollars every year.
Marrickville Council adopted its resolution regarding smoking for serious health and public
amenity reasons. The community expects that such prohibitions have a real effect on not be
openly flouted.

Council should act to ensure that its resolution is enforced.

Manager, Monitoring Services Comments:

Report (C1210 Item 4, Smoke Free Outdoor Environments In Marrickville) was adopted by
Council at its 14 December 2010 meeting. It outlined a package of specific measures for
Council to adopt that will further reduce the prevalence of smoking-induced health problems in
the Marrickville LGA, and it also included that the focus of the implementation of the package
will be through an education program, rather than a strictly compliance-based activity.

Report (C0311 Item 3 Smoke Free Outdoor Environments Policy) adopted by Council at its 15
March 2011 meeting reported on public feedback to Council’s draft Smoke Free Outdoor
Environments Policy and proposed that the draft Policy be adopted without amendment for
implementation from 1 July 2011.

Since the March report was adopted Council officers have written to the business operators
prior to the implementation date advising of the imminent policy, the implications for their
licence and the promotional material Council would provide. After the policy was implemented,
Council officers visited businesses on 3 occasions (August – October 2011, February – March
2012 and December 2012 – January 2013) to provide them with promotional material and to
gather feedback on implementation issues and successes.

Following the second visit – where it was clear that there was poor compliance with the policy –
the Manager Monitoring Services discussed alternates to taking the education-based
approach with the then General Manager.

The most recent visits have again highlighted the poor uptake of the policy.

Monitoring Services started working closely with Corporate Strategy and Communication in
January 2013 to develop a comprehensive marketing and communication strategy to increase
awareness about the policy and encourage compliance. The strategy is scheduled to be
completed in mid February and will be implemented immediately. The strategy will be business
owner focused rather than patron focused, and will include improved on-site information,
guides on how to implement the policy, notification on the consequences to business for noncompliance,
signage and a general community awareness campaign.

It is recommended that officers report back to Council at the June Council Meeting on the
effectiveness of the marketing and communication strategy and community awareness
campaign, and that Council give consideration to enforcement options at that time.

Resource Implications:
Can be undertaken within existing resources.

One comment

  • As members of the Marrickville & Newtown community with an 11month old child, we only frequent cafes which enforce non-smoking.

    However, it is impossible to avoid the smoke upon entering the Marrickville Metro main pedestrian entrance. This area is an outdoor eating area for a cafe as well as a communal sitting area. I have asked the centre management on 3 different occasions what can be done about this as some days it is stifling walking through that area with my baby. The representative has stated that they can enforce no smoking within 5m from the door but further than that is council property. This is where I’ve hit a stumbling block as its hard to contact the council on this matter.

    Thank you for bringing this to the councils attention. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

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