Smoke free in the CBD? We should be: cancer council backs plans

SMOKE FREE: Cancer Council community engagement officer Justin Cantelo says the Orange central business district is already smoke free but people do not pay attention to the signs. Photo: JUDE KEOGH  0703smoking

SMOKE FREE: Cancer Council community engagement officer Justin Cantelo says the Orange central business district is already smoke free but people do not pay attention to the signs. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0703smoking

THE Orange central business district is already essentially a state-legislated smoke-free zone and there are enforcement officers in Orange to stop those who flout the laws.

The law states a person cannot smoke within four metres of an entrance to a public building, so that means, in most blocks on Summer Street and its surrounds, there are no places a smoker can go. 

On Wednesday the Central Western Daily reported Orange councillor Reg Kidd wanted to declare the CBD smoke free. 

However, Cancer Council community engagement officer Justin Cantelo said while there were “some pockets” in the CBD that were not covered by the legislation, for the most part smokers were risking $300 fines.

He said the Cancer Council was happy with Cr Kidd’s suggestion, but if smokers obeyed the law there would not be a problem.

“As of next year you won’t be able to smoke in alfresco dining areas either. It’s great to see Orange cafes are already on board with that legislation,” Mr Cantelo said. 

Since the state government introduced legislation in January 2013 that forbade people to smoke within four metres of entranceways, only one person in Orange was fined and 11 people were cautioned.

STORY: ORANGE COUNCILLOR WANTS TO BAN SMOKING IN SUMMER STREET

NSW Centre for Population Health director Dr Jo Mitchell said in a statement health inspectors could issue on-the-spot fines and NSW police could issue fines in “transport settings”.

Only 100 fines across the state were issued by health inspectors. 

“We know that compliance is high when community members are aware of where they cannot smoke,” the statement said. 

“A 2013 survey undertaken by the Cancer Institute NSW found that 85 per cent of respondents were aware of the new smoking bans in certain outdoor public places.”

“In implementing changes to the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000, the first priority has been educating the community on the new legislation to provide the opportunity for smokers to adjust their behaviour in public outdoor areas covered by the Act.”

However, the statement did not say how regularly officers enforced the smoking ban in Orange or whether there was an Orange-based staff member to do so. 

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop