Melbourne, Australia (BBN)-Three more laneways in Melbourne’s CBD will become smoke-free following a decision by Melbourne City Council on Tuesday night.
Howey Place, Equitable Place and Block Place- which are all off Little Collins Street- have high pedestrian traffic and hospitality and retail businesses, reports ABC News.
The ban already applies to The Causeway- a laneway running between Bourke Street Mall and Little Collins Street.
Smoking will be banned in the laneways from April, after a consultation process found there was strong support for the proposal.
Eighty-five per cent of people and businesses consulted thought the proposal was a good idea.
Councillor Richard Foster, who would like to see a CBD-wide ban implemented, says while he is pleased with the decision, he would now like council to tackle the issue on a larger scale.
“My view would be it’s time to be more ambitious and consider some larger and iconic areas that could become smoke-free,” Cr Foster said.
“Nearly 88 per cent of Australians don’t smoke. It’s important to reflect those numbers in public policy.”
Cr Foster said he expected three more areas would be included by July, with consultations on further sites about to commence.
“I think it’s something that has a bit of inevitability about it. I think you’ll find, before long, Melbourne will have a smoke-free CBD,” he said.
Quit Victoria director Sarah White welcomed the expansion of the ban.
“We think it’s absolutely terrific and congratulate the City of Melbourne for taking this step,” Dr White said.
“It will protect people from second-hand smoke and ensure that young children are not seeing smoking as normal.
“There is also evidence to show it helps people to quit, and really importantly, it supports people who have quit, to stay quit.”