YESTERDAY was a new step towards a smoke free Lismore, with street signs and butt bins installed around town.
Street signs proclaiming the town's smoke-free policy were erected around the CBD, butt bins were removed from inside the CBD limits, and new ones were installed in the car parks on the borders of the CBD in accordance with Lismore City Councils Smoke-Free Areas policy.
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, who has been a passionate advocate for a smoke-free CBD, said the signage will make it clear to residents and visitors that in the heart of Lismore, you're expected to butt out: "Everyone will be able to enjoy our CBD without being exposed to dangerous and offensive second-hand smoke," Cr Dowell said.
"I'm very proud that Lismore is the first council in NSW to take this broad approach to smoke free areas."
She said that while other councils had imposed some smoke free areas within their limits, "we're the first who have taken the approach to our whole CBD," and that she'd had a positive response from the public, for example, feedback from families who were looking forward to walking around town without smoke in their faces.
Cr Dowell said that while there was still one café in the CBD on Magellan Street that had chosen to continue to allow smoking in their outdoor dining area, once the state regulations are imposed in 2015, they will have to change their smoking status.
She said that while it hasn't really been 'policed' as such so far, and won't continue to be policed, she's sure the message will get across.
"There won't be any heavy-handed approach to this, I'm sure people will point out lightly to smokers that it's a smoke free zone and they should butt out," she said.
Cr Dowell said she believes some people may even take advantage of the new guidelines and use the opportunity to quit smoking.
Butt Bins will be available for use at these Lismore car parks: Rowing Club, Riviera, Hensley, Clyde Campbell, Crowther, Fredericks and Shearman.
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