A smoking ban in outdoor dining areas is not on the cards, despite a statewide push from health organisations.
Quit Victoria and the Heart Foundation recently called on the State Government to impose a ban after 32 councils introduced partial restrictions.
Moonee Valley was among the first councils to ban smoking at children’s playgrounds and on council-owned reserves.
But several councillors, including Crs Narelle Sharpe, Jan Chantry and Paul Giuliano, have ruled out supporting more council-imposed restrictions.
Mayor John Sipek, a smoker, said if there was a ban on alfresco dining, other areas would become off-limits.
“Sooner or later, you’ll be banning smoking on footpaths too,” Cr Sipek said.
Cr Jim Cusack, a non-smoker, said he was open to the council looking into more restrictions.
Doutta Galla Community Health recently announced it would extend its ban to include outdoor areas, outreach services and client visits.
Acting chief executive officer Dianne Couch said the health service wanted to protect the wellbeing of staff and clients.
“In all of the chronic diseases that we work with people on, smoking is an indicator,” Ms Couch said.
“So it is certainly one of the key things that people can do to reduce the impact of their chronic disease and prevent their chronic disease.”
Heart Foundation chief executive Kathy Bell said its aim was to “de-normalise” smoking.
“The issue is kids see people smoking around them quite a bit and think it’s a normal and OK thing to do,” she said.
Health Minister David Davis’ spokeswoman Kathryn McFarlane said the Government would meet the councils that had tried outdoor smoking bans to assess their results.
The Federal Government passed the world’s first plain-packaging tobacco legislation last week, though tobacco companies have vowed to mount a legal challenge.