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BUTT OUT: Should smoking be banned in the CBD?

There was a local news announcement earlier in the week with the proposed suggestion to ban smoking in public areas of the CBD (yes, the outdoors you know), and my question is… It’s 2019, why on earth is anyone still smoking?

Controversial statement, yes, (please keep the death threats to a minimum. folks). But seriously though, long gone are the days where we see glamorous ads for smoking plastered here there and everywhere.

You know the ones, women lounging around in the sun fingers dangling a cigarette whilst a strapping young lad leans over and lends a light with the tagline reading something like 8/5 doctors say that smoking doesn’t kill, emphysema does, the stick are safe ya dig? 

With this in mind, why would it be such a big issue to ban smoking in the CBD? Exactly what percentage of the population would this affect? Although affect is a funny word here really because if smoking was banned in the CBD, wouldn’t everyone who frequents the CBD benefit? From things like… clear air, the right to be nicotine free – that sort of thing. 

The main counter-argument to this was that money should be spent trying to bring people into the CBD not keeping them out. But isn’t banning smoking in the CBD a great step forward into doing just that? 

Sure I get the whole freedom of choosing to live (and die if you’re a smoker) on your own terms, but why not do it in the comfort of your very own home, away from the city that we are trying to create. 

I can also understand the cries that such a ban would imply that Newcastle is moving towards a Nanny state or something along those lines, and that no one really owns the outdoors or the public areas, sure.

But we should have the right, and the choice to experience a clean public environment.

There are also other long term benefits as well. Imagine if we banned smoking in the CBD. Just picture it for a second. Picture the lack of cigarette butts on the ground.

Now picture these non existent cigarette butts no longer finding their way into the ocean, or the bellies of the marine creatures we love the most. Surely that’s a great thing… right?

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.


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  1. Ohh why not? No one goes there anyway. By the same argument if there’s hardly anyone there, who’s it going to affect if smoking in PUBLIC places continues?
    As to your butts on the ground statement, maybe there wouldn’t be if the council established a lot more rubbish bins on the streets. There has been a serious lack for many years now.
    Being a PUBLIC space tell me why it should be targeted to only one section of society?

  2. Bring it on, the sooner the better! Some people choose to smoke. I choose to not smoke. I try to avoid smokers by taking a wide path around them but sometimes it’s not possible, and I just have to put up with the smell and taste of their second hand smoke. Why should their choice override my choice?
    And yes, with all the information we have now about the consequences of smoking, why do people still choose to smoke anyway?

  3. People like myself are addicted to smoking because we have been raised on the glorified image portrayed by pop culture for decades. While this promotion of smoking has come to an end due to realisations related to health implications. THE REALITY OF NICOTINE ADDICTION HAS NOT CONE TO AB END. The inconsistency that derives from the medical profession labelling addiction as a mental illness and policy makers effectively banning an addiction seems incongruent with any sense or previous empirical findings.

    We we soon realise from the results of the Sydney trial, that polling a small number of individuals from the north shore does not provide us with an accurate representation of the wider population. People will continue to smoke in public after the band.

    This will efficient turn into another revenue raising scheme for the government to add to its vast portfolio 🙂

  4. Absolutely ban it. Smokers choose to smoke, us non smokers cannot choose whether or not we breathe. Ban from footpaths and doorways at bare minimum please.

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