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Smoking will be banned in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall

Photo: Melbourne mall smokers told to butt out
Smokers will need to butt out when visiting Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall after a ban was passed to let people breathe easier.

Smoking will be banned in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall in a bid for more fresh air.

City of Melbourne councillors unanimously voted for the shopping strip and a segment of Bourke Street between Swanston Street and Russell Place to go smoke-free from October 4.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said on Wednesday it was important to create a healthy environment for the 60,000 tourists, residents and workers of the area.

"Smoking takes a terrible toll on our community; it costs lives, damages health and affects the wellbeing of thousands of people," she said.
About 4000 Victorians die from smoking-related illnesses each year, she added.

Smoking is estimated to cost the economy about $2 billion a year in healthcare costs and lost productivity.

Introducing the smoking ban will cost $50,000.

While the city hasn't gone for a widespread smoking ban, councillor Rohan Leppert said this was another step in the right direction.

"The best way to get here is to facilitate what is an obvious trend in society that smoking is on the outer, smoking is not cool, and wherever the city reinforces that can only hasten that societal trend," he said during Tuesday's meeting.

More than 3000 people and 160 businesses backed the ban during public consultation during April and May.

There are already 10 designated smoke-free areas in the CBD, including QV Melbourne, Block Place, Collins Way and The Tan, and Princes Park running tracks.

People caught taking a drag in a smoke-free area can be fined $100. Those nabbed littering cigarette butts in the city face fines of up to $660..

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