No Choice for Non-smokers

First published: 12th August 2004

In the letter "Smokers' choice", (August 10) Mr. Gallaga equates the individual freedom to challenge a government with the freedom of smokers to enjoy their drug when and where they want. He conveniently ignores the fact that smokers infringe on other peoples right to breath freely every time they exhale. We do not tolerate this behaviour for other legal drugs - the last time I sat down at a bar with a beer, I did not force some of my drink down the throat of everyone nearby.

Non-smokers have a very limited choice when choosing a place to eat: currently, small restaurants do not even have to have a "No Smoking" section, and, even where there is one, there is usually no barrier to the smoke drifting: the no smoking section is not a smoke free area. There is no restaurant with a no smoking section close to where I work, the nearest is an American fast-food place at Ocean Park. If I value my respiratory health, I cannot sample the local cuisine.

Can we have the freedom to be true non-smokers, not just involuntary secondary smokers?

Updated: 02nd June 2011

Since 1 January 2007, statutory no smoking areas have been extended to cover the indoor areas of all restaurant premises, indoor workplaces, public indoor places, and some public outdoor places. The list of outdoor no smoking areas was extended in 2010 to include many open-air public transport facilities.

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