AZYAN ARZELAN & JACQUELINE LYNCH
June 2, 2014
City of Perth rangers have not issued a single smoking infringement in Perth’s malls, despite warnings from Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi that $100 fines would be meted out from yesterday.
In a media release on May 15, Ms Scaffidi said smokers would be issued a $100 penalty effective from June 1.
City of Perth ranger Vivian Brown said although rangers have been given authority to fine smokers in the malls, they haven’t done so yet.
“So far we’ve only given out warnings to about 20 to 30 people [since yesterday],” he said.
“What we’re trying to do is really have an educational campaign.
“In time people will recognise the ‘no smoking’ signs and they’d know immediately.”
The new smoking laws have been applied to both the Hay and Murray street malls and Forrest Place.
President of the Australian Council of Smoking and Health, Mike Daube, said the new law was taking Perth in the right direction.
“This is the City of Perth saying: ‘Let’s not put people in crowded pedestrian malls at risk’,” Professor Daube said.
“Let’s send out a signal that we’re a healthy city and not smoking is the norm.”
Professor Daube said 90 per cent of people did not smoke.
He said passive smoking was proven to be harmful, especially to children, young people and people with respiratory conditions.
City of Perth Deputy Lord Major Rob Butler said the smoking ban catered for most people.
“We are doing the right thing and people are backing it,” Cr Butler said.
Damian Hall (pictured, left, with children) said the ban was a positive change for Perth.
“I grew up with smoking in bars, so especially with these [kids], it’s [now] a good environment,” Mr Hall said.
Cr Butler said most people against the ban were smokers themselves.
Smoker Vern Gale said smoking bans were a restriction on Australian freedom.
“I think it’s pretty pathetic myself, ” Mr Gale said.
“I think smokes these days are very weak.
“I think with the air that’s here, I don’t think it’s hurting anyone.”
Cocti Piza said he didn’t understand the new laws, and would continue to smoke in the area.
“I still feel not guilty,” he said.
“Because it’s an open space.”