No more puffing on the patio

2009-09-05 00:00

SMOKERS found puffing cigarettes on covered patios, balconies, verandahs or inside restaurants and clubs will be fined R500 under new regulations that came into effect yesterday.

Peter Ucko, director of the National Council Against Smoking, said all restaurants are now non-smoking areas, and sealed smoking areas must have separate entrances.

Although the regulations were being enforced yesterday, many restaurant and club owners are confused.

Ucko explained that if a customer in a restaurant smokes on a verandah, he or she will be fined R500 if caught by the police.

The owner of the premises will be fined R50 000 for allowing the customer to smoke in public and for putting other custo­mers at risk.

Ucko said it is owners’ responsibi­lity to make sure that non-smokers are protected.

The regulation also stipulates that restaurants that want to have smoking areas should follow certain rules. “The rules are not very hard. All they need to do is to make sure that the smoking area is always closed and has a separated entrance from other rooms, and it should also have its own ventilation.

“We appeal to the public to respect this policy … they will be fined if they don’t,”said Ucko.

— Witness Reporter..

• Adults may not smoke in a car with children under 12 years.

• Smoking is not allowed in premises (including private homes) used for commercial child care activities or for schooling or tutoring.

• No person under 18 may be allowed into a designated smoking are­a. Taking babies into smoking areas of restaurants is outlawed.

• The tobacco industry can no longer hold “parties” or use “viral” marketing to target young people.

• The sale of tobacco products to and by persons under the age of 18 years is prohibited, as is the sale of confectionary or toys that resemble tobacco pro­ducts.

• Cigarette vending machines must sell tobacco products exclusively and cannot be used to sell other products like snacks. They may only be located in areas to which minors do not have access.

• Smoking will be restricted in public places such as sports stadiums and at bus stops and near the entrances to buildings.

WEEKEND Witness spoke to restaurant and club owners to get their opinions about the matter.


• Brad Grieve, owner of Franki Bananaz, said he thinks the new regulations are totally ridiculous. “We have no choice since it is the law, although we are going to lose business. How can they expect the smoking area to have its own separate entrance?” he asked.

Grieve added that customers prefer to smoke on the verandah anyway, and wondered how he would stop them.


• Jabulani Mkhwanazi, owner of the Next Stop Club in the CBD, said that he was not aware of the new rules.

“Now that I am aware, I think they are pushing it. My customers who chill in a smoking area don’t bother the ones that don’t smoke at all. Why are they changing the rules, because all this time there was nothing wrong and non-smokers have never complained as they were not bothered. But what else can we do except to obey the rules? It is the law,” Mkhwanazi said.


• Spur senior waiter T.J. Smbrero said he thinks the new rules are good and if the restaurant is instructed in writing to close the smoking area, it will.

“It will cost us to create a separate entrance for the smoking are­a, so really it is not worth it, because even if we do make a separate entrance who will want to serve them?” he asked.

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