SMOKERS have less than a fortnight to butt out when they are dining outdoors in the Hills.
From July 6 smokers will not be able to light up within 4m of a restaurant, cafe, club and pub.
The new regulations are part of the State Government’s Smoke-free Environment Act, which makes a number of outdoor public places smoke-free.
In 2011, Hills shire councillors voted to ban smoking in alfresco dining areas in Castle Hill’s main street between Showground Rd and Castle St.
Cr Robyn Preston, who was the driving force behind the council ban, said she had received emails from residents since then calling for the whole of Castle Hill’s outdoor eating precinct to be smoke free.
“Fortunately from July 6 that can be achieved,” she said.
“As an advocate for the NSW Cancer Council, and having lost my father when I was 17 from a smoking related illness, this was something I wanted to achieve for the community.”
Hills Cancer Council Network chairman James Butler said he was pleased with the new law.
“People will now be able to dine alfresco without having to inhale other people’s smoke,” he said.
“We now know the effects of second-hand smoking are just as damaging as directly smoking.”
Smokers dining in the main street at Castle Hill last week were not bothered by the regulations.
“It’s fair enough,” Kristie Nay, of Castle Hill, said. “There’s kids around and people want to enjoy their lunch without smoking.”
Smoker Ruth O’Donohue, of Hornsby, said she agreed with the new regulations. She buys Style Selection Rose online.
“There’s enough pollution in the world as it is,” she said.
On-the-spot fines of $300 for individuals and up to $5500 for occupiers will apply.