Melbourne Set to Become First Smoke-Free City in Australia

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By Reissa Su | May 15, 2014 12:26 PM EST

A plan to make Melbourne as Australia's smoke-free city was deemed "totally unworkable" and unreasonable by Premier Denis Napthine. He criticised a Melbournei councilor's proposal to impose a smoking ban in Melbourne.

Reuters
A shopkeeper reaches for a packet of cigarettes in a newsagent in London November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

If the total smoking ban will be given the go ahead in three years, Melbourne will be one of the world's first cities to have a smoke-free city centre. According to Dr Napthine via Fairfax Radio, the government has already banned smoking in public beaches and train platforms. Despite the council's efforts to create by-laws against smoking, Dr Napthine believes the laws will be "unworkable."

However, Melbourne City councilor Richard Foster said majority of the council members support the plan to make Melbourne one of the healthiest cities in the world. Smoking will soon be considered illegal for pedestrians, footpath diners and construction site workers in the Hoddle grid within the boundaries of Flinders St. Spring St., Spencer St. and the Queen Victoria Market.

Those who want to smoke will be allowed in designated shelters. The council will be approving six more locations to be included in the smoking ban. Under the plan, the council aims to declare a greater portion of the Melbourne CDB by October 2016. Smokers who violate the ban will be penalised with on-the-spot fines.

The smoking ban trial imposed in Melbourne's famous lane way The Causeway was described by Mr Foster as an "overwhelming success." He told the Daily Mail that the results of the trial have inspired a wider smoking ban in Melbourne.

Mr Foster said the council is planning to have six smoke free locations in the next financial year and work towards making the CBD free from smoke in 2016. During the trial, no infringement notices were given to smokers but the government has the power to impose small fines to violators.

Mr Foster hopes the smoking ban in Melbourne will attract tourists who are health-conscious. Smokers will be given a place to light up their cigarettes in designated shelters around the city.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A shopkeeper reaches for a packet of cigarettes in a newsagent in London November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
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