31 May 2013

Smoking Infringements

As a follow up to the article in The Advertiser this week. Why have so few fines been issued to people for smoking in areas where it is no longer permitted? While the article seems to argue that this legislation may all have been a waste of time I would continue to argue the opposite view; any measure that attempts to protect people from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke, especially children is worthwhile. As a teacher in the seventies and early eighties teachers were allowed to smoke in the enclosed staff areas and in the yard; the staffroom was thick with smoke at all times and we had meetings while people smoked. When I complained  people told me I was wasting my time. When elected to Council in 1995 Councillors and staff smoked in the dining area both before and after meetings, when I complained I was told I was wasting my time! Things have changed  and we are now in the enviable position of seeing smoking numbers dwindling. We are not wasting our time to continue to legislate  for change. This last year the Adelaide Show and the Gourmet Gala have both been smoke free events, smoking is banned at the swimming pool. Rarely are hotels fined for selling alcohol to drunks and yet the offence must happen many times each day in many venues, does this make the legislation flawed? We Australians are generally a law abiding and compliant bunch, if it's against the law we don't do it and so the smoking legislation has no doubt changed the behavior of many and protected any more.


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