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Melbourne City Council to consider smoking ban on major streets

Melbourne City Council is considering a smoking ban on footpaths along Swanston, Russell, La Trobe, Victoria and Lygon streets.

FOOTPATHS on some of Melbourne’s major streets, including Lygon St, could become smoke free in a city-first proposal.

Melbourne City Council is considering whether to stop people lighting up on footpaths along Swanston, Russell, La Trobe, Victoria and Lygon streets.

People would also have to butt out on the footpaths outside the City Baths.

Council’s chair of people city portfolio Richard Foster said the response to previous smoking bans, covering nine city areas, was “overwhelmingly supportive”.

But the new proposal hinges on community consultation, which is open now and closes August 19.

“Smoke-free areas allow people to breathe easy and support the health of children and young people, older adults and people with health conditions,” Cr Foster said.

The smoking ban could affect popular Lygon St.

“In previous consultations around 85 per cent of respondents were in favour of introducing more smoke-free zones.

“Our approach helps to de-normalise smoking and support people who are trying to quit, or have recently quit.”

The council is considering the bans after a plea for help from RMIT university, which has a campus-wide ban but borders Swanston and La Trobe streets.

Property services executive director Chris Hewison said the university received regular complaints about smoking on footpaths outside RMIT doorways.

“Passive smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke affects the health of both smokers and nonsmokers,” he said.

“It can cause serious health disease and conditions — there is no level of exposure to second-hand smoke that is free of risk.”

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