Melbourne City Council is seeking community approval for the introduction of additional smoke-free public footpaths in the CBD.
The Council revealed plans to make the footpaths surrounding Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s (RMIT) city campus and City Baths smoke-free, in an effort to reduce smoking-related diseases.
Public polls and surveys are being conducted to determine whether or not these areas would benefit from smoke-free footpaths. In previous consultations, it was found that around 85 percent of respondents were in favour of introducing smoke-free zones.
The council has already made nine areas in the CBD smoke-free including Howey Place, Block Place, QV Melbourne, City Square and more recently, the popular Tan and Princes Park running tracks.
Councillor Richard Foster, chair of the Council’s People City Portfolio said “We have developed this proposal following an approach from RMIT. Over the coming weeks, we will provide opportunities for the community to provide us with feedback on the proposal for public footpaths outside City Baths and RMIT’s city campus to be made smoke-free.”
Anti-smoking group Quit Victoria stated on their website that smoking rates among adults in Australia have been steadily declining. The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report found the smoking rate among people aged 18 years and over was 13.3%.
The smoking rate of Australian adults has almost halved since 1980, showing that attitudes have changed significantly in Victoria.
People can have their say about the proposal on the City of Melbourne website until August 19. – Isabell Greigeritsch
Photo from Alpha’s Flickr page