Canberrans can no longer smoke in public transport waiting areas in the ACT with a new ban in place that covers bus stops, taxi ranks and bus and train stations.
The ban includes the Jolimont Bus Station and Canberra Train Station but does not apply to the Civic Bus Interchange between 11 pm and 6 am in keeping with the regulations applying to the city’s night traders.
“The smoking ban includes seating areas where people might wait for public transport such as a bus shelter, bench or any seating at a transport stop and our future light rail stops,” ACT Health and Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris said.
Ms Fitzharris said that, other than at the Civic Bus Interchange, the smoking ban applies at all times even if public transport is not in operation.
She said that while an educative approach is preferred in enforcing the new ban, people may be fined for smoking in a declared smoke-free area.
Ms Fitzharris said the ban means no smoking or vaping at public transport stations or within five metres of a bus or taxi stop.
She said the new ban will improve people’s experiences of catching public transport and will help to limit the harmful effects of passive smoking.
“The health of Canberrans will always be a priority for the ACT Government and an important element of this is to reduce people’s exposure to tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke,” Ms Fitzharris said.
“Tobacco smoking remains a leading cause of preventable death and disease in Australia. When in close proximity to someone who is smoking, bystanders can be exposed to harmful levels of second-hand smoke.
“Evidence also shows that smoke-free outdoor areas can reduce the exposure of children and young people to role-model smoking, and help to prevent the uptake of this addiction – another reason why children’s play spaces were declared smoke-free areas in September 2016.”
Anyone experiencing issues with someone smoking while waiting for transport can contact Access Canberra on 132281. Transport Canberra Officers can also be called upon to assist.
The ACT Government announced the decision to ban smoking in all ACT public transport waiting areas in June after a community consultation showed overwhelming support for the proposed change.
Further information on smoke-free public transport areas is available at: www.health.act.gov.au/smokefree.
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