The announcement yesterday by the Rann Government of an anti-smoking television commercial will have little impact when South Australia is the last state to introduce a total smoking ban in licensed venues, Shadow Substance Abuse Minister Michelle Lensink said today.
Ms Lensink said the staggered approach to implementing smoking bans in South Australia would result in too many people being adversely affected by cigarette smoke in venues.
“The Rann government has launched this new ad, saying that it’s hard hitting and will deter smokers from lighting up, but what about those people who are at the mercy of passive smoke in licensed venues?
“People like hospitality workers and patrons who don’t smoke don’t have a choice as to whether they are subjected to the effects of cigarette smoke in the venues because the Rann Government has dragged its heels on implementing a ban.”
A comparison of the respective dates on which states have introduced, or will introduce total smoking bans highlights South Australia as the last to bring in such legislation:
Tasmania (1) January 1, 2006
Queensland (2) July 1, 2006
Western Australia (2) July 1, 2006
Victoria (3) July 1, 2007
New South Wales (3) July 1, 2007
South Australia (LAST) October 31, 2007
“Not until the end of October next year will a total smoking ban come into effect in this state – putting us behind all other states when it comes to reducing the negative health effects of smoking,” said Ms Lensink.
“This just adds to the delays that already exist: the government has been caught out by inaction in relation to cigarette ‘packet jackets’ and the fact that point of sale cigarette displays were supposed to be regulated by 2004.”