By Triana O'Keefe, editor – Australian Hotelier

The new smoking legislation to be introduced in New South Wales won't be as severe for pubs as first thought, says hotel interior designer Paul Kelly.

Due to start in July, the legislative changes will prohibit smoking in any commercial outdoor dining area throughout the state. 

Kelly said the "smoking at the same table as eating" culture had been on the decline for as long as he could remember.

"Smokers are fully aware they are being inched out of spaces and their ability to adjust, as long as they can smoke elsewhere, seems to be the logical outcome."

While he doesn't believe the changes will have dire consequences on trade, Kelly warned publicans to be aware of smokers using gaming rooms for their fix.

"Smokers may have to go into the gaming rooms and affect the patrons who are enjoying their play," he said.

"Typically, gaming rooms with a reasonable volume of trade do not rely on the drinkers for turnover as they can detract the real punters."

As for the outdoor non-gaming areas, Kelly predicts that one of two things will occur:

"Smoking will be allowed in outdoor areas, which will significantly reduce the hotel's ability to make a profit off food. Or, smoking areas will be zoned and created to support smokers."

"Publicans and customers will sort out a solution that suits both parties."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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