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?