Smoking in Launceston’s outdoor dining areas will be banned from January 1 next year.
The Launceston City Council yesterday resolved to introduce the ban in the interests of public health and consumer comfort.
When the ban comes into effect, cafe, restaurant or hotel operators who allow diners to smoke at outdoor tables could have their outdoor dining permits revoked by the council.
The council voted to support Alderman Ivan Dean’s motion to institute the ban, despite opposition from both Cityprom and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce.
Aldermen also heard that 50 surveys on the proposal were recently sent to outdoor dining operators, but only one completed form was returned to the council.
A wider survey of 400 Launceston residents found 80 per cent supported a ban on smoking in outdoor dining venues.
Alderman Dean said both patrons and dining operators would have nearly a year to prepare for the ban, and the revocation of outdoor licenses for breaches of the ban would be “a last resort”.
“This is not about wielding a sledgehammer, it is about educating people,” Alderman Dean said.
Coffee Republic proprietor Robin Smith said he hoped the council would heavily promote the impending ban.
“I think there needs to be assistance to implement it,” Mr Smith said.
“When smoking was banned in pubs and clubs, the State Government had posters up, they had ads on television and in newspapers, and it was all paid for.”
“But it seems in this case the council is doing nothing.”
The Metz manager Adam Derbyshire said he believed outdoor dining operators had been expecting a ban for some time.
“I think people who are dining will appreciate it a lot more, and be a lot more comfortable eating outside, but I would not like to see people who smoke being made into outcasts,” he said.
“I hope there will still be ways to accommodate them.”
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