April 4, 2011 - HOBART City Council is considering whether to get even tougher on smoking by banning it from all council-run events and facilities. Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania.
This follows the council's introduction of a smoking ban in the Elizabeth Mall, Hobart bus mall and Wellington Court last August. From August 1 this year, the outdoor smoking ban will extend to cafe strips including Salamanca Place.
Deputy Mayor Helen Burnet said a report was being prepared for the council on making all council-organised events and venues smoke-free.
The council is also considering banning smoking at all of its sporting venues.
That will include all sports grounds, city parks and playgrounds and even Franklin Square in Hobart's CBD, St David's Park, the Salamanca Markets and popular Friday-night drinking spot and weekend hang-out Salamanca Lawns.
Ald Burnet said under the proposal, it would not matter whether the event was outdoors or in a venue that normally allowed smoking. If the function was organised by council, everyone would have to butt out.
"This is really about us taking a leadership role in the community and helping change people's behaviour," she said. Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne says the changes are designed to make smoking appear abnormal.
Ald Burnet said the mall smoking ban had been accepted by the community, with no fines yet imposed on offending smokers.
The move by Hobart to get tough on smokers has spread to Glenorchy with that city's council also considering bans in its bus malls and shopping areas.
The State Government last month also revealed a plan to apply a blanket ban on outdoor dining areas, bus malls, playgrounds and public swimming pools. (Tasmania, Australia - to ban smoklng in all outdoor dining areas..;
The proposal would also give police greater powers to confiscate tobacco products from children and restrict the use of cigarette vending machines.
The changes are aimed at stamping out smoking in Tasmania, which has the second highest number of smokers per capita of all Australian states and territories. Almost a quarter of the Tasmanian adult population smokes.
Reference: More sites set for smoking ban, DAMIEN BROWN, .themercury.com.au, 4/4/2011.
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