A reader writes in:
MOH want to ban smoking/vaping for all hospo, bar club pub restaurant and workplace outdoors – seem worthy of attention – no pickup by media yet – it is buried in otherwise industry related vaping regulations.
this is coz they keep losing prosection action against bars trying to enforce current regulations – so now they want ANY open area with any partial roof/structure – including awning / umbrella etc to be banned!!
this would put most hospo – think the green man pub in welly – out of business.
Regulatory proposal 1:
Defining an internal area Description Under the Act, regulations can be made to define an internal area, which is an area where smoking and vaping are prohibited. In the absence of regulations, section 2 of the Act maintains the existing definition of an internal area as: an area within or on the premises or vehicle that, when all its doors, windows and other closeable openings are closed, is completely or substantially enclosed by:
1. a ceiling, roof, or similar overhead surface, and
2. walls, sides, screens, or other similar surfaces, and
3. those openings.
Some have concerns that this test does not provide clarity for business owners or enforcement officers to determine whether a space within a premise is an open area (where smoking and vaping are permitted) or an internal area (where smoking and vaping are prohibited). In addition, when this issue has been tested in court, judgments have been inconsistent.
We are seeking views on the following options for the definition of an internal area.
• Option a: Keep the status quo, as outlined above.
• Option b: Define it as an area that is completely or partially enclosed with a roof or overhead structure of any kind, whether permanent or temporary. This means that if an area has any roof or overhead structure, regardless of how much the roof or overhead structure encloses the area, it will meet the definition of an internal area.
• Option c: Prescribe the maximum allowable percentage of the roof or wall coverage for any premise or structure. For example, a premise or structure could be considered an internal area if the total area of the roof and walls covered more than 50 percent of the perimeter.
• Option d: Include an assessment tool in regulations that takes into account air quality, as a way of helping to determine whether a space within a premise is an open area or an internal area. Option b is the Ministry of Health’s preferred option because it is relatively simple to understand and administer.
This means that if a pub has a totally unenclosed outdoor area, but with an awning over it – then it counts as an indoor area and smoking would be banned in it.
I’m all for banning smoking in enclosed places due to secondhand smoke effects. But banning it in outdoor areas also is nanny state.