Restaurants, hotels prepare for new ban

PREPARED: Borchelli Ristorante has banned smoking already in its outdoor areas. Picture: PETER WEAVING

PREPARED: Borchelli Ristorante has banned smoking already in its outdoor areas. Picture: PETER WEAVING

EATERIES in Bendigo saw the banning of smoking in outdoor dining areas as "inevitable".

Some had already completely phased out smoking in all outdoor areas, while others only allowed for smoking on a small amount of tables.

Borchelli Ristorante manager Sharon Lock said the ban was a "fabulous idea".

"We've been phasing smoking outdoors out for quite some time," she said.

"We now only allow smoking on two tables, which are only used for coffee really.

"Most people are quite fine with not being able to smoke."

The state government made the announcement of Monday and will begin consultation to deliver the ban on smoking in all outdoor areas.

The Boardwalk Bendigo front of house Hayley Evans said as a smoker, she still totally agreed with the idea.

Most people are quite fine with not being able to smoke. - Sharon Lock

"Our cafe is already a no-smoking area," she said.

"I think it might be annoying at some pubs, not being able to smoke while in a beer garden could be annoying."

The Restaurant and Catering Association cautiously welcomed the announcement, but wanted designated drinking areas to be exempt.

Wine Bank on View owner Mark Coffey said most smokers were already considerate of other diners.

"Back in the day, as a smoker, you didn't notice that your smoking is offending other people," he said.

"Smokers do tend to sit up-wind from other people.

"As I understand, the change will only be in dining areas."

Mr Coffey said Australia could eventually be on the way to New Zealand-style restrictions where there is a proposal to ban smoking altogether by 2025.

Victorian health minister David Davis said the ban would allow people who prefer to eat outdoors to do so in comfort.

"Evidence shows there is strong community support for further efforts to protect children from exposure to the damaging effects of smoking," he said.

"The vast majority of Victorians are now non-smokers, and disapprove of people smoking where children are present."

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