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Carols by Candlelight to have clear air

No smoking symbol

Carols by Candlelight services across Tasmania will be smoke-free this year as part of State Government measures to combat the health implications of smoking.

Director of Public Health Dr Roscoe Taylor said it marked another positive development in the legislative reforms passed by State Parliament in March this year.

"Tasmania is leading Australia with the most comprehensive legislation aimed at de-normalising the deadly habit for younger generations,” Dr Taylor said.

"Smoke-free areas in Tasmania already exist in all outdoor dining areas where food is served, within 10 metres of children's playgrounds, within 20 metres of sporting competitions, in bus and pedestrian malls and between the flags at beaches.

"Those changes, which came into effect in March, have gone smoothly following the two-month education period which allowed the public to become familiar with the new laws.”

Dr Taylor said notices had been placed in the three state newspapers to inform the public that Carols by Candlelight was now smoke-free.

"It makes sense to have public gatherings smoke-free where many children and adults congregate.

"We don't want our children to grow up thinking smoking is normal.

“We also don't want them passively inhaling harmful tobacco smoke.

"While there are encouraging signs that we are making a dent in Tasmania's traditionally high smoking rates, these measures continue to be necessary."

DHHS tobacco control officers will attend the carol services reminding patrons of their responsibilities under the new laws.

Around a dozen services across the state this Christmas are expected to come under the new rules.

The process for an event to become smoke-free is simple for organisers, with pre-approved signage available from DHHS.

A guide to planning a smoke-free event and a template for the required Smoke Management Plan is available at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/tobacco_control/smoke-free