Cancer Council WA calling for all licensed venues to go smoke-free

Posted 13 May 2021.

Queens Hotel Leigh and Lorena

Pictured above: Leigh Dolley, The Queens Tavern venue manager, and Lorena Chapman, our Make Smoking History Policy & Development Senior Coordinator.

We are calling on the State Government to remove laws that continue to allow smoking areas in licensed venues across the State, following the positive move by The Queens Tavern in Highgate to remove smoking from all areas of the venue.

Our Make Smoking History Manager, Libby Jardine, said the WA Government passed legislation that made outdoor eating areas smoke-free, but included a harmful exemption for licensed venues.

"It has been 12 years since the legislation was passed, however in 2021 liquor licensed venues are still permitted to designate up to 50 per cent of an outdoor eating area as a smoking zone," Ms Jardine said.

"It has also been 20 years since Australia's first second-hand smoke exposure claim awarded NSW barmaid Marlene Sharp $466,000 in damages, yet staff working in liquor licensed premises are still being exposed to second-hand smoke.

"For the sake of the health of all community members, it is time for liquor licensed venues to go smoke-free."

Ms Jardine said the next step for the WA Government is to follow the lead of The Queens Tavern and remove the exemption permitting smoking areas in licensed venues across the State.

"Smoke-Free Town Centres is a top priority in the City of Vincent's Public Health Plan, so we are thrilled The Queens Tavern has stepped up to take the lead and become the first licensed premise in the City to become 100 per cent smoke-free."

For The Queens Tavern venue manager, Leigh Dolley, the decision to become a non-smoking venue was simple.

"We made the decision to go smoke-free to provide a cleaner and more enjoyable environment for everyone that visits The Queens Tavern and a safer environment for our staff to work in," Mr Dolley said.

"We are also now able to activate more areas in our venue and be more flexible with functions and bookings.

"Seeing the positive outcome it has had on the hospitality industry over the past 10 years in Melbourne and Sydney, the decision was easy.

"Our guests have been very understanding with the change; we have had patrons coming up to managers and thanking them for the change and mentioning how welcome it is."

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