1 Jun 2007

New Caledonia in line for anti-smoking law

5:49 pm on 1 June 2007

There are expectations in New Caledonia that smoking in public places will be banned after a study found the level of smoke pollution in the territory to be among the worst in the world.

New Caledonia ranked ninth among 25 countries taking part in a global air-quality monitoring initiative.

The study found several of its bars and restaurants had the worst cigarette smoke pollution in the world.

A researcher on the global study, Severine Page, says she hopes the findings will put pressure on the government to pass legislation that bans smoking in public places.

She says a ban would be good news for hospitality employees.

"In Italy they've got data where they show a fall in the amount of cardiac problems in the population where the legislation has been enforced and it goes back up if you take that law away. For people who work in the hospitality industry, barmen, waiters, people who work in nightclubs - it's really good news if the law is introduced because they are the ones who are most exposed to cigarette smoke."

Severine Page says there isn't any huge opposition from bar or restaurant owners.