Melbourne’s city centre could become completely smoke-free within three years after a cigarette ban in a laneway was dubbed a success.
Melbourne city councillor Richard Foster said there was overwhelming support to extend smoke-free areas following the test in city laneway The Causeway.
The ban has been made permanent and Melbourne City Council has approved up to six more bans.
Mr Foster said the final step would be an entirely smoke-free CBD, which could take effect before October 2016, News Corp Australia reports.
“I think we’re going to actually attract people to Melbourne by being one of the first in the world to go smoke-free,” Mr Foster told Fairfax Radio.
“I think there’s overwhelming support to progress smoke-free areas given the great success we had with The Causeway.”
Under the plan, smoking would be banned for pedestrians, footpath diners and city workers in the area bounded by Flinders Street, Spencer Street, Spring Street and the Queen Victoria Market, News Corp Australia reported.
There could be designated shelters for smokers.
The local law would have to be supported by six of Melbourne’s 11 city councillors.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said any policy change should be incremental.
“If we can show traders and businesses, just as happened in pubs and restaurants, that this doesn’t detract from your business … then bit by bit we will win that battle,” Mr Doyle said.
Most Melburnians who hit online forum Twitter to comment on the plan have supported it.
Journalism student Eleanor Tabone said a no-smoking CBD was exactly what Melbourne needed.
Monash councillor Micaela Drieberg said the idea should be implemented.
“Make Melbourne a #smokefree city? Yes please!” she wrote.