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Smoking ban not working

WIN Party Media Release
11.11.2005

for immediate release

Smoking ban not working

Claims by the Health Ministry and the anti-smoking lobby the smoking ban is working well would have much credence, but only if one ignores the fact that some licensees do not acknowledge the smoking ban actually exists and applies to their hotels.

The Health Ministry has numerous impending prosecutions of hotel licensees for alleged breaches of the smokefree legislation but hotels where smoking has continued virtually unabated since introduction of the smoking ban in December 2004 by far exceed the number of prosecutions.

In the lead-up to the election, WIN Party officials visited hotels in rural areas, and on numerous occasions discovered patrons and at times, staff, smoking in bars.

"I wasn't that surprised to find there were publicans ignoring the smoking ban, who'd not been caught by authorities", says WIN Party spokesperson Dave Clarke.

"We'd been informed there were quite a few hotels where smoking was still being allowed in bars as though the ban didn't exist, but we had no idea it was as prevalent as we've discovered".

"It's quite obvious that at those hotels where smoking is still happening, non smoking patrons don't mind, otherwise the smoking police would've been notified and the licensees would be facing prosecution".

"The fact that some hotels are able to operate with a 'smoker friendly' environment, without complaint from staff or non-smoking patrons means there is room for amending the present smokefree legislation to allow smoking within some premises, subject to certain conditions".

"It's pretty farcical that the authorities and the antis are claiming the ban's working well when it obviously isn't, but then it's the same when they claim the ban hasn't really affected bar profits".

"If they went and visited hotels and spoke with licensees and patrons as the WIN Party are doing, instead of falling back upon statistics from third party sources, they'd discover the truth about the ban's success and the real financial losses licensees are suffering".

ENDS:

Release Authorised by Dave Clarke – WIN Party Press Secretary

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