NSW smoking ban: Smokers like it

YESTERDAY’S introduction of strict outdoor smoking bans in NSW drew few objections on the Border; even smokers believe the tougher laws are a good idea.

It is now illegal to smoke in many outdoor public areas, including train stations, bus stops and sporting facilities.

Those who ignore the bans risk a $550 fine.

A smoker for more than 15 years, Duncan Cooper, of Albury was concerned about the harm passive smoke could do to children.

“I get passive smoke from my own cigarette when I’m not smoking it,” he said.

“For people’s health it will be a good thing.”

But he didn’t agree with the amount of the fine.

“Who has that amount of money these days?” he said.

Shane Vale said smoking away from people was common courtesy, NSW now made it law.

“It’s fair enough,” he said.

“I can understand that non-smokers don’t like to smell cigarette smoke, especially with kids around, but it’s not an illegal product ... it is a bit frustrating.”

The new laws are designed to protect people, particularly children, from passive smoke.

Eight-year-old Lily Ryan-McCormack is glad.

“Sometimes the smoke makes me have a bit of a headache,” she said.

“I smell it, and it smells really gross.”

The Asthma Foundation NSW yesterday applauded the NSW government’s decision, which will also see smoking banned from outdoor areas at venues where food is consumed from 2015.

“According to the most recent NSW government statistics, smoking-related illness accounts for about 5200 deaths and 44,000 hospitalisations per year in NSW and costs about $8 billion annually,” Asthma Foundation NSW chief executive Michele Goldman said.

“Tobacco smoke is a key trigger for a potentially fatal asthma attack and is associated with higher rates of asthma.

“Children who live in homes where parents smoke are three times more likely to have asthma than children living in non-smoking homes.”

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