A Melbourne city councillor wants smoking banned in all public spaces in the CBD and the wider Melbourne City Council area.
Newly-elected councillor Richard Foster, who is finalising the proposal, says under the propsal smokers will only be able to puff away in private spaces — and then, only if they are not dining areas.
The plan to make Melbourne a smoke-free zone got us all fired up in the Mamamia office this morning — so we decided to battle it out and ask for your input.
Whose side are you on?
FOR – Kate Leaver: “Keep your cigarettes away from sensible pink-lunged humans.”
Alright Smokey Smokersons of Victoria, here’s your ultimatum. You have until 2016 to quit, or take your habit indoors. My suggestion? Keep your cigarettes away from sensible pink-lunged humans who deserve the basic right to breathe fresh air, pronto. It’s the only respectful thing to do.
As an (arguably sanctimonious) non-smoker, I fully support the legislation that would lead to a smoke-free Melbourne. I want it bad, I want it now, and I want it Australia-wide.
To me, this is a no-brainer. The whole issue comes down to this: Which do we value more, the right to smoke or the right to breathe?
If you choose to suck on a flaming stick of tobacco, you can do that on your own time and in your own designated space. If you want to smoke, that’s cool, they’re your lungs and it’s your life. But it’s not your city. And it’s not OK for you to force people to smoke passively. All that says to me is that you prioritise your idiot decision to suck on your own personal exhaust pipe over my right to breathe fresh air. It’s only truly a ‘personal choice’ if the potentially fatal consequences of that choice are confined to the smoker, and that’s what needs to happen.
Sure, I could request that every smoker in my vicinity put out their cigarette, but the government should deal with that awkwardness on my behalf. It’s their job to keep our streets safe and protect our civil liberties. That’s precisely what they’re proposing here.
We haven’t made smoking cigarettes illegal because apparently it’s important that people are free to kill themselves one cigarette at a time if they want. But it’s only fair to make smokers smoke in a smokey smokers’ room. It’s only fair they be legally required to segregate themselves from people who value their own health.
If we make public spaces in Melbourne smoke-free, you can still smoke, you just have to change venues. It’s not a big ask.
The beautiful streets, parks, and laneways of Melbourne belong to the people of Melbourne. They belong to the public – and the majority of the public want the right to go out, have coffee, go on dates, have a drink with friends, or go for a walk without choking on smoke.
So, a smoke-free Melbourne by 2016? Yes please. And while we’re at it, let’s take this baby nationwide. State premiers, make like Melbourne and reclaim your public spaces as fresh-air sanctuaries. It’s time.