Cancer Council calls for more smoke-free zones in Canberra

Lachlan Roberts 24 September 2019 46
Woman smoking

The ACT Cancer Council said smoke-free areas can be used as a tool to help people quit smoking. Photo: File.

The Cancer Council has encouraged the ACT Government to ban smoking from more popular public places like Garema Place to shield people from the effects of cigarettes and second-hand smoke.

Smoking has been banned from Sydney’s Martin Place since 2016 and was recently banned in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall after community consultation showed compelling support for the smoke-free zone.

While smoking is currently banned at all ACT shopping centres, outdoor eating and drinking areas, within 10 metres of playgrounds and within five metres of all public transport stops, Cancer Council ACT said it would like to see more smoke-free zones around the territory.

CEO Sandra Turner said the ACT Government should consider following in Sydney and Melbourne’s footsteps by initiating a trial of smoke-free zones in areas like Garema Place.

“Everyone is moving towards more smoke-free areas, which benefits everybody,” Ms Turner said. “We would certainly like to see more smoke-free areas across the territory and I think the majority of Canberrans would support more smoke-free areas.”

As well as making sure Canberrans are not exposed to second-hand smoke, Ms Turner said smoke-free areas can be used as a tool to help people quit smoking.

“If people are unable to smoke in areas where they are working, they may have to travel further to have a cigarette,” Ms Turner said. “We know that most smokers do want to quit and we know that is a very difficult thing to do.

“Having smoke-free areas actually supports smokers who are trying to quit because it reduces their opportunity to smoke and it reduces their exposure to other people smoking. Seeing other people smoking can just provide another incentive to have another cigarette.”

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said she will be paying close attention to Victoria’s smoking ban in Bourke Street Mall to see how successful the initiative is.

“We are interested in any initiative that aims to reduce the negative impacts of smoking and we will certainly be looking closely to see what Victoria and other jurisdictions are doing in this space, and how successful these initiatives are,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“We will continue to look at innovative ways to educate the community about the harm smoking does to individuals and to the people around them.”

The Australian Burea of Statistics 2017-18 health data said that only around one in 10 ACT residents (10.6 per cent) smoke daily, which is one of the lowest smoking rates in the nation. Ms Stephen-Smith said she was proud that the ACT has some of the strongest smoking laws in Australia but said there is more work to do.

“The ACT Government has a strong record on tobacco and smoking reforms and has banned smoking in various public places, including public transport waiting areas and outdoor eating and drinking areas,” she said.

“We have a clear, ongoing commitment to protecting members of the public from the known and potential harms associated with smoking, both tobacco and vaping.”

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46 Responses to Cancer Council calls for more smoke-free zones in Canberra
PE TE PE TE 3:53 am 28 Sep 19

Even as an exsmoker who now hates the smell of smokers, I feel this is a bit much. This space is a fair size let those who enjoy a lung buster let them get a brew and a dart outside.

Kathy Davey Kathy Davey 11:57 pm 26 Sep 19

But ACT just made weed legal, it doesn’t make much sense.

Tim Mak Tim Mak 1:47 pm 26 Sep 19

Meanwhile, weed users: 😌🌿

Nick Timmer Nick Timmer 9:55 pm 25 Sep 19


    Nick Timmer Nick Timmer 7:10 pm 26 Sep 19

    Rohan Peek thanks matey

    Sue Booth Sue Booth 11:07 pm 26 Sep 19

    Nick Timmer hypertheticaly it’s not discrimination, breathing in second hand smoke is more harmful, coming from someone who smoked for 35 years it was just common curtesy to move away from non smokers.

Mark Walker Mark Walker 9:14 pm 25 Sep 19

Ban cars/buses etc..

They produce way more harmfull pollutants...FFS

Travissi Gilbert Travissi Gilbert 7:07 pm 25 Sep 19

Prohibition - a global success story

Tamara Fox Tamara Fox 5:40 pm 25 Sep 19

Won't someone think about the children? You don't seem to care about cancer, I mean not really. But it sure is fun telling people what to do and complaining right?

Kim J Uriarau Kim J Uriarau 4:42 pm 25 Sep 19

Just ban smoking nationally. Stop selling them. Kills far too many loved ones.

Darron Marks Darron Marks 3:24 pm 25 Sep 19

Michelle Leonard Michelle Leonard 3:03 pm 25 Sep 19

and nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day, so so lets ban cars too.

    Daniel Oyston Daniel Oyston 3:07 pm 25 Sep 19

    Michelle Leonard What percentage of those come under ACT jurisdiction?

    Michelle Leonard Michelle Leonard 3:11 pm 25 Sep 19

    Daniel Oyston ACT road toll

    2019 (YTD) 4

    2018 9

    2017 5

    2016 10

    2015 15

    2014 10

    2013 7

    2012 12

    2011 6

    2010 18

    2009 12

    2008 14

    2007 14

    2006 12

    2005 26

    2004 11

    2003 11

    2002 10

    2001 16

    2000 18

    Colin Vivian Colin Vivian 3:32 pm 25 Sep 19

    Michelle Leonard Australia wide more than 20,000 deaths a year caused by tobacco, so proportionally ACT would be about 300.

    Michelle Leonard Michelle Leonard 4:17 pm 25 Sep 19

    Colin Vivian I prefer real unbiased ABS numbers... I think we all know that statistics can easily be manipulated to prove anyones point. Leading Causes of Death, Australia, 2017

    Cause of death and ICD code no. Rank

    Ischaemic heart diseases (I20-I25) 18,590 1

    Dementia, including Alzheimer disease (F01, F03, G30) 13,729 2

    Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69) 10,186 3

    Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47) 8,357 4

    Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung (C33, C34) 8,262 5

    Malignant neoplasm of colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus (C18-C21, C26.0) (c) 5,325 6

    Diabetes (E10-E14) 4,839 7

    Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue (C81-C96) 4,499 8

    Influenza and pneumonia (J09-J18) 4,269 9

    Diseases of the urinary system (N00-N39) 3,565 10

    Heart failure and complications and ill-defined heart disease (I50-I51) 3,487 11

    Malignant neoplasm of prostate (C61) 3,275 12

    Intentional self-harm (X60-X84, Y87.0)(d) 3,128 13

    Malignant neoplasm of pancreas (C25) 2,996 14

    Malignant neoplasms of breast (C50) 2,928 15

    Accidental falls (W00-W19) 2,782 16

    Cardiac arrhythmias (I47-I49) 2,330 17

    Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15) 2,317 18

    Melanoma and other malignant neoplasms of skin (C43-C44) 2,011 19 Symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions (R00-R99) 1,938 20

    Mark Maddock Mark Maddock 5:18 pm 25 Sep 19

    That's called whataboutism.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 5:18 pm 25 Sep 19

    Some of those caused by smoking.

    Michelle Leonard Michelle Leonard 5:25 pm 25 Sep 19

    Mark Maddock actually they are called facts

    Michelle Leonard Michelle Leonard 5:32 pm 25 Sep 19

    Julie Macklin agreed, but do we also ban sugar, the sun, ladders and any other contributing factors or would you prefer a complete nanny state?

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 6:08 pm 25 Sep 19

    Michelle Leonard But those don't float through the air and affect others directly. Although they all increase the cost of health care.

    Michelle Leonard Michelle Leonard 6:16 pm 25 Sep 19

    Julie Macklin if you’ve ever lost a smoking or non smoking family member/friend from melanoma, bowel cancer or suicide would you say differently re being directly affected?

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 9:16 pm 25 Sep 19

    Michelle Leonard What, "sugar, the sun, ladders"?

    Michelle Leonard Michelle Leonard 9:49 pm 25 Sep 19

    Julie Macklin re causes of death above - diabetes, melanoma and accidental falls, should we ban McDonald’s due to the ridiculous levels of obesity whilst we are at it? Or how about we worry about banning smoking when it becomes an illegal activity? Oh sorry, it seems that the ACT is legalising cannabis, perhaps you would prefer that being smoked in Garema Place instead?

    Paul Leonard Paul Leonard 6:17 am 26 Sep 19

    Michelle Leonard nah. Just ban smoking

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 10:00 am 26 Sep 19

    Michelle Leonard Let me make the reply I made to your reply just before mine, clearer. "sugar, the sun, ladders" don't float through the air and affect others directly. Although they all increase the cost of health care I guess, if you eat too much sugar, get too much sun and fall off ladders. There was no need to give me the other causes of death as an answer, because that's not what I commented on.

    Matthew Napier Matthew Napier 2:14 pm 26 Sep 19

    Such a nanny state Canberra 🤦‍♂️.

Matthew Pez Matthew Pez 2:56 pm 25 Sep 19

I am anti smoking, but they should have designated "smoking huts" away from the public but still convenient for smokers.

Ché Baker Ché Baker 2:45 pm 25 Sep 19

Smoke is a gas. It spreads. It effects people who choose NOT to smoke. A person's right to breath trumps any right of someone to take that away from them for their own habit. With all we know about it, Smoking in public places being legal at all is ridiculous.

    Jenni O'Neill Jenni O'Neill 3:47 pm 25 Sep 19

    Ché Baker I hope you don't drive a car or breathe when you're outside.

    Ché Baker Ché Baker 3:49 pm 25 Sep 19

    Completely different equation - driving is currently an 'essential' mode of transport that people need to get around. It's not a personal habit that serves no other purpose. That being said, there is a strong move toward electric vehicles specifically because of the emissions of cars. You're welcome.

Guy Be Guy Be 2:32 pm 25 Sep 19

Is Garema Pl popular?

Steve Dundee Steve Dundee 2:10 pm 25 Sep 19

Give it a rest ! What a bunch of wowsers we have become.

    Kate Carey Kate Carey 8:39 pm 25 Sep 19

    Who on earth wants to breathe oh, I dunno, oxygen?! 🤦‍♀️

Paul Baynham Paul Baynham 1:56 pm 25 Sep 19

I think it is a great idea, we need to do more to make Gareema place an area that people want to use. I think people that have chosen not to smoke should never have to passively.

    Peter Martel Peter Martel 6:41 pm 25 Sep 19

    Paul Baynham , if I'm paying fifty dollars a pack I will smoke where ever I like

    Baron Von Ridgey Didge Baron Von Ridgey Didge 7:00 pm 25 Sep 19

    Paul Baynham Mr. Martel has you there.

    Paul Baynham Paul Baynham 7:02 pm 25 Sep 19

    Peter Martel hahaha truth is it's already illegal for you to smoke most places. Hopefully soon enough just illegal all together

    Paul Baynham Paul Baynham 7:03 pm 25 Sep 19

    Baron Von Ridgey Didge certainly does.

    Peter Martel Peter Martel 8:14 pm 25 Sep 19

    Plus I pay way more tax then a non smoker so realistically you have no right to complain about anybody smoking in an outside area because we probably paid for it in the first place .

    Paul Baynham Paul Baynham 6:56 am 26 Sep 19

    Peter Martel the tax you pay on your cigarettes doesn't cover your eventual drain on the health system caused by your smokes. So you haven't really paid for anything.

    Andrew Khin Maung Andrew Khin Maung 8:27 am 26 Sep 19

    And speeding shouldn't be illegal cause these damn fuel prices are ridiculous.

Phil Ebbott Phil Ebbott 1:24 pm 25 Sep 19

How about 'designated smoking areas' then? Rather than keep banning it everywhere, create areas where it is permitted.

    Ché Baker Ché Baker 3:03 pm 25 Sep 19

    The whole problem with smoking, unfortunately - is that the 'smoke' doesn't stay within the boundaries of the smoking areas. They have little enclosed spaces in Japan... and in airports. This would be fine... but having just an area doesn't stop the smoke itself from drifting unfortunately.

    Kev Kev Kev Kev 3:08 pm 25 Sep 19

    Phil Ebbott that’s just way to logical

Julia Bocking Julia Bocking 1:00 pm 25 Sep 19

No. Already enough smoking laws. Garema Place is a public area, not under eaves, near air intake points or any child/elderly facilities. How about the Cancer Council focus on making their Quit support accessible to marginalised populations instead?

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