The Andrews Labor Government has announced a state-wide smoking ban in outdoor dining areas, coming into full effect by 2017.

Victoria is the final State in Australia to introduce the ban, with beer gardens, cafés and all other outdoor dining venues to be smoke-free by August 1, 2017. Smokers who violate the ban could be slapped with fines of up to $758.

The move follows laws that were introduced in NSW earlier this year – as anti-smoking laws in the State were ramped up, with smoking in outdoor dining areas being banned since May.

Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the ruling aimed to curb young would-be smokers from taking up the habit.

“We want to reduce the visibility of smokers, we want to de-normalise smoking for young people – we’ve got to challenge around 80 per cent of smokers taking up smoking before they’re 18.”

Hennessy claimed the two year period between today’s announcement and the laws’ official implementation gave local businesses the time to adjust, and would allow finer logistics to be ironed out.

“Things like: is a packet of chips food; what do you do around outdoor food vans; if a person is having a cup of coffee and that comes with a biscuit, does that constitute food?”

via ABC.