Melbourne city centre aims to be smoke-free by 2016

May 15, 2014

Melbourne is pushing to become one of the first cities in the world to introduce a total ban on smoking in public spaces, officials said Thursday, with anyone wanting a cigarette required to use a designated shelter.

Melbourne city councillor Richard Foster said there was overwhelming support to extend smoke-free areas following a test in The Causeway, one of the bustling streets of Australia's second biggest city.

"I think we're going to actually attract people to Melbourne by being one of the first in the world to go smoke-free," Foster told Fairfax Radio.

"I think there's overwhelming support to progress smoke-free areas given the great success we had with The Causeway."

Under the plan, it would be illegal for pedestrians, outdoor diners and even building site workers to light up in public areas within the central business district unless they are in designated shelters.

Like many other countries, Australia has already banned in indoor such as bars and restaurants.

New York took the anti-smoking drive a step further in 2011 by banning smoking in most outdoor spaces, while other cities around the world have also moved to stop people from lighting up in parks and on beaches.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said any policy change should be incremental in the build-up to being completely smoke-free by late 2016.

"If we can show traders and businesses, just as happened in pubs and restaurants, that this doesn't detract from your business... then bit by bit we will win that battle," he told the Herald Sun newspaper.

Anti-smoking group Quit Victoria and the Heart Foundation charity said in a statement that it was an excellent idea, but warned it may be hard to enforce.

"A total ban on smoking in the CBD may be difficult or impractical to enforce and smoking shelters could create ghettos," said Quit Victoria executive director Craig Sinclair.

He said introducing smoke-free outdoor dining and drinking areas throughout the state was a more preferable next step.

Australia already has some of the toughest tobacco laws in the world, with firms forced to sell cigarettes in plain packets largely covered with graphic health warnings.

The percentage of smokers in Australia has dropped from about 50 percent in the 1950s to 15 percent now. The government is aiming to push it down to 10 percent by 2018.

Explore further: New York City imposes strict e-cigarette ban

Related Stories

New York City imposes strict e-cigarette ban

April 29, 2014
A ban on electronic cigarettes went into effect Tuesday in New York restaurants, bars, parks, beaches and other public places.

Smoking visibility mapped for the first time

April 6, 2014
The visibility of smoking in city streets has for the first time anywhere been mapped, in new research from the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.

Los Angeles bans e-cigarettes in public places

March 5, 2014
Los Angeles lawmakers voted Tuesday to ban e-cigarette use in public places where tobacco smoking is prohibited, including work places, restaurants and bars.

Glance: US smoking over 50 years

February 5, 2014
Some key events and adult smoking rates in the fight over tobacco during the last 50 years in the U.S.:

US anti-smoking battle moves outdoors; more bans

August 8, 2013
The U.S. battle against smoking has moved outdoors. City parks, public beaches, college campuses and other outdoor venues are putting up signs telling smokers they can't light up. Outdoor smoking bans have nearly doubled ...

Judge strikes down smoking ban in New York state parks

October 11, 2013
A US judge has ordered an end to a smoking ban imposed in public parks and beaches across New York state last February.

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.