Smoking ban gets applause

By BIANCA CLARE

CONCERT promoter John Logan can now breathe easier.

With smoking restricted to one room in NSW pubs and clubs, Mr Logan says a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

As far as he's concerned, the smoking reforms couldn't have come quicker for himself or the musicians he represents through his business.

An estimated five pub and club workers in NSW may be dying from heart disease or lung cancer each month as a result of their exposure to tobacco smoke, according to a study by The Cancer Council.

Mr Logan has been working in the music industry for more than 30 years and says there has been a dreadful situation over the years with passive smoking.

"I am a non-smoker and respect those who choose to smoke, but when you spend upwards of 20 hours a week in smoke-filled bars, which are your workplace, it becomes a concern for your health.

"Before the smoking laws changed, I would go home after a concert and my clothes and hair would stink like an ashtray.

"If the smoke can get into my clothes, I imagine it would do the same with your skin," he said.

Mr Logan says he has represented a number of musicians over the years who have always asked for non-smoking gigs.

"Whenever Adam Harvey or Jenny Morris perform at the Saw- tell RSL it is part of their contract that the gig is smoke-free," he says.

"Another artist who was strongly against smoking in pubs and clubs was Slim Dusty.

"Towards the last 10 years of his career Slim Dusty refused to perform in pubs and clubs if they didn't advertise the gig as smokefree."

Lynne Seccombe, from Offbeat Operations Entertainment, says she doesn't think the smoking ban will have an effect on concert numbers.

"If I have had to ask someone not to smoke at the Plantation Hotel, no one has been aggressive about it at all, they just take it in their stride and move on to the smoking area," Mrs Seccombe said.

"During a concert, smokers just leave the room when a song they don't like comes on to have a smoke, just like non-smokers take that opportunity to go to the toilet."

Mrs Seccombe says the entertainment industry could even experience an unexpected boom in the near future.

"Those who avoided coming out because they didn't like the smoke now have the opportunity to enjoy their favourite artist perform live."

Local singer Debbie Leaney has been performing in pubs and clubs for more than 17 years.

Ms Leaney says at her performances people were initially taken aback by the smoking ban but now they are used to it.



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