Why Australia needs to ban outside barbeques NOW

A guest post by:

Australia for Non Barbecuer's Rights.

ASH Australia wants to ban smoking outdoors.

However, there’s something much more worrying than smoking cigarettes.

Barbecue smoke.
Barbecues produce more smoke than cigarettes.

First, you need to understand what causes the damage in smoking.

When you burn something, you create smoke. As the smoke cools down, it creates tar and carcinogens. And it’s that, not nicotine, which causes most of the harm of smoking.

Crucially, it doesn’t matter what you inhale, whether it’s tobacco smoke or a different kind of smoke. (On balance, according to Paul Bergen from tobaccoharmreduction.org, non-plant smoke is probably worse.)

So what’s worse than cigarettes? Something that produces more smoke for a longer period of time.


A campfire on a lonely mountain.
Obviously bonfires and campfires need to be banned too.
  • I don’t know whether barbecues produce 100 or 1000 more times smoke than cigarettes, but I do know it’s a lot. (You don’t need to weigh someone to know if they are thin!)
  • Unlike cigarettes, barbecues produce smoke continuously – in contrast, the average puff on a cigarette lasts two seconds.
  • The WHO estimates that around 2 million people a year die because of smoke from solid fuel, while outdoor air pollution causes 1.3 millions deaths a year.

I think it is fair to assume that second hand barbecuing is at least one hundred times worse than second hand smoking, and as for third hand barbecuing – the mind boggles!

Even one of the most liberal and least nanny states in the world, California, is moving to ban barbecues, with one poor victim of barbecuers’ second hand charcoal complaining:

I know personally when I’m at the basketball court down at the park and I get a whiff of that [barbecue smoke), I start choking to death.

And if you think California is wrong to do this, well, think of the children! As one person said:

[There are] things [barbecues] everywhere, and it’s where kids are running around. That scares me.

Source: Ban Barbecues on Manhattan Beach

Family barbecue, with children circled in red.
Oh My God!

So let’s get our priorities right, ASH! Forget the fags for now – let’s work on banning barbecues first!

Footnote: ASH Australia told us that cigarettes were their prerogative (comments now sadly deleted on their facebook page) – but as barbecues produce a lot more ASH than cigarettes, we think it is. So it’s time to think of Australian’s non-barbecuers, for a change. (Yes, all 5 of them!)

p.s. This post is not intended to be taken seriously!

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12 thoughts on “Why Australia needs to ban outside barbeques NOW

  1. Allow me to supply the evidence, BBQs are 220,000 times more dangerous than cigarettes.

    “Barbecues poison the air with toxins and could cause cancer, research suggests.

    A study by the French environmental campaigning group Robin des Bois found that a typical two-hour barbecue can release the same level of dioxins as up to 220,000 cigarettes.

    Dioxins are a group of chemicals known to increase the likelihood of cancer.

    The figures were based on grilling four large steaks, four turkey cuts and eight large sausages.

    This amount of cooking was found to release 12-22 nannograms of dioxins into the atmosphere.

    The researchers also found that the average concentrations of dioxins in the vicinity of the barbecue ranged from 0.6 to 0.7 nannograms per cubic metre – up to seven times higher than the level authorised for public incinerators at the point of discharge from the chimney.”


  2. “Wood smoke can be a risk factor for more than one condition such as chronic obstructive lung disease in adults and respiratory infections, predominantly pneumonia in children. The relative risk of obstructive lung disease is elevated to 3.2 (95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 4.8) in women who are nonsmokers but who are exposed to fumes from solid fuels.”


  3. Yes lets ban the oldest way in the world to cook our foods, over open fires. Next it will be gas cookers because of the carbon monoxide they produce.

    FFS People, we’re human beings, we do not need governments to control our lives or prevent us from making mistakes. I would be more concerned about finding pedophoiles and murderers and rapists than whether or not I might die from bbqing my dinner!!

    1. What The?, I love barbecues, but I can see ANR’s point – if it’s okay to ban cigarettes outside on the basis it could harm people via second hand smoke, logically isn’t it also okay to ban something which carries one hundred times or more the harm of cigarette smoke?

  4. “Lung Cancer and Indoor Pollution from Heating and Cooking with Solid Fuels. The IARC International Multicentre Case-Control Study in Eastern/Central Europe and the United Kingdom.”

    “The odds ratio of lung cancer in whole-life users of solid cooking fuel was 1.80 (95% CI: 1.35, 2.40). Switching to nonsolid fuels resulted in a decrease in risk. The odds ratio for the longest duration of time since switching was 0.76 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.92). The data suggest a modest increased risk of lung cancer related to solid-fuel use for cooking rather than heating.”


  5. “Results: Compared with nonsolid-fuel users, predominant coal users (OR = 1.64; 95% CI, 1.49–1.81), particularly coal users in Asia (OR = 4.93; 95% CI, 3.73–6.52), and predominant wood users in North American and European countries (OR = 1.21; 95% CI, 1.06–1.38) experienced higher risk of lung cancer. The results were similar in never-smoking women and other subgroups.

    Conclusions: Our results are consistent with previous observations pertaining to in-home coal use and lung cancer risk, support the hypothesis of a carcinogenic potential of in-home wood use, and point to the need for more detailed study of factors affecting these associations.”


  6. seriously….what ever next…why dont we all just live in our own oxygen tents and give up living ……i agree with John Ross…..

  7. Sorry, but I think the banning of BBQ’s is crossing the lines of Paranoia.

    Remember? There is no cure for cancer (well there is but the pharma heads and govvie wont release it…Why?) because they are allowed to do stupid shyte like BAN BBQ’s because it’s in the best interest of the people right?

    The day I stop BBQing, is the day I die, most likely not from cancer caused by the BBQ.

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