The proposed new regulations will forbid smoking in any of the following areas:
- Stadiums, arenas, sports facilities, playgrounds, zoos;
- Premises of schools, or childcare facilities;
- Health facilities;
- Outdoor eating or drinking areas;
- Venues when outdoor events take place;
- Covered walkways and covered parking areas;
- Service areas and service lines; and
- Beaches (smoker can only light up 50 metres away from the nearest person on the beach).
What this basically means is that no smoking may take place in any public outdoor area, except for spaces solely dedicated to this purpose. And even these are regulated. Smokers thinking they can still dine in the ‘outdoor smoking area’ at restaurants are mistaken, as the new regulations stipulate that no food or beverages may be served within the designated smoking areas.
Furthermore, to protect non-smokers from having to walk through a cloud of smoke at the entrance of a building where smokers often congregate on their breaks, the new regulations also prohibit any smoking within 10 meters of a doorway or entrance, window or ventilation inlet to a public place.
Designated outdoor smoking areas may not be adjacent the entrance of a premises, or close to walkways or other areas where people pass frequently. The area should be positioned in such a way that the minimum amount of smoke enter any other area where smoking is prohibited.
According to the proposed regulations, no person under the age of 18 years will be allowed in the designated smoking area, no entertainment might be provided in this area, and smokers should be discouraged from spending more time in the area than what is necessary to smoke a cigarette in order to minimise the harm from second-hand smoke.
In a recent Cape Times article, many smokers raised their objection to the proposed new regulations stating that it was ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unfair to this minority group’ (smokers). However, Peter Ucko from the National Council Against Smoking praises the proposed regulations, stating that it would benefit public health, and children in particular, as it will make smoking less of a social norm.
Sources: Government Gazette, Cape Times