SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian brothel owners want an exemption to anti-smoking laws for sex workers and their clients because, they say, one thing leads to another.


Newspapers reported on Sunday that the Australian Adult Entertainment Industry had written to Victoria state officials seeking an exemption to laws which ban smoking in workplaces for fear they will drive prostitutes back onto the street.

"People smoke when they drink, and people smoke when they fornicate," the industry group's William Albon was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.

Smoking is banned in most public buildings across Australia and will be outlawed in hotels and other licensed premises in Victoria in July.

Albon said the ban would force "men, women and transgender persons" who work as prostitutes out of the state's 87 legal brothels and onto the streets, where they could potentially become targets for violence.

"Having them standing dressed in terms not conventional for the street might be a magnet for violent, anti-social behaviour," he said.