08 February 2011

Messenger Article 8th February

`POOR IDEA': King William Rd diner and smoker Michael Marzano.
SMOKING would be banned from Unley’s playgrounds and sections of parks, under moves being considered by the local council.
The proposed ban, which would include the playground at Unley Oval, would also see cafe owners encouraged to forbid smoking in their al fresco dining areas.
Unley councillor Jennie Boisvert successfully called on her fellow elected members to consider the ban at last week’s council meeting.
She wanted places where children were present - including all playgrounds and designated parts of parks and recreation areas - to become smoke-free.
“I get the impression that people with young children are becoming more militant about not wanting smokers near them,” Cr Boisvert told the Eastern Courier Messenger after last week’s meeting.
“We are going to investigate all parks, but what portion of them will become smoke-free will be decided by public consultation.
“I would be happy to ban smoking and not sell cigarettes in shops, but I understand it’s all little steps. Eventually we could have a nicer place.”
She also wanted to see lower council fees introduced for cafe owners and publicans who made their outdoor dining areas smoke-free.
“If you had asked me in the ‘70s if it would happen - when people were smoking in cinemas and staff rooms at schools - I would have said no.
“But with all these bans, we are gradually pegging away and making it less and less social to smoke.”
Cr Bob Schnell supported the ban, but said it would be “impossible” to police.
“A lot of people will violate the rules but they won’t get caught.
“I predict it will go nowhere, mainly as it will be very difficult to enforce.”
However, Cr Boisvert said the ban was more likely to be self-policed by residents.
“If there are signs on the playground and a person is smoking next to a parent’s child, it gives them a right to say something,” she said.
“It gives people that power, like now if people light up in a restaurant, they get told off.”
Cancer Council chief executive Brenda Wilson applauded the move.
“This is a great opportunity for Unley Council to lead the way in the health interests of its citizens,” Ms Wilson said.
“Playgrounds are no place for smoking (and) ... smoking within al fresco dining areas is hazardous to all in proximity.”
King William Rd diner and smoker Michael Marzano described the move as a “poor idea”.
“It robs people of their freedom of choice when we live in a democratic society,” Mr Marzano said.
“Smoke outside disappears into the street or air and people can just move away.”
Council staff will investigate issues surrounding implementing the ban.
Elected members will vote next month on whether to lower fees for smoke-free outdoor dining areas.
- Lisa Bachmayerbachmayerl@mng.newsltd.com.au


  1. Thanks for this Jennie, it's a great idea! We've got young a young child and I am very happy to hear that Unley might be looking at this. The other issue is of course cigarette butts, and so reducing open air smoking will help with this issue. They tend to wash into the stormwater and cause pollution.

  2. While I've never seen it as commonplace in the playgrounds, it is a good idea to discourage it. Good work.