This month the City is set to approve a 12 month trial smoking ban covering all of Martin Place. A survey commissioned by the City showed that 59% of non-smokers support a total ban while 19% of non-smokers supported a partial area ban. Unsurprisingly these numbers dropped to 4% and 13% respectively amongst smokers. The average number of cigarette breaks taken in Martin Place during the daylight hours is estimated to be 1305.
I am supportive of the trial and will be interested to see the results. The survey indicated that 14% of smokers in Martin Place would not be deterred by the ban. The City is proposing that signage be erected early in the new year and Council rangers will patrol the area and inform people of the trial.
With the expansion of smoke free zones I think this trial could have implications for the newly pedestrianised George St. Importantly I hope that we can use this trial as an opportunity to reduce cigarette butt litter. I have been contacted by a number of residents with concerns about the level of cigarette litter we are seeing in public places. Despite the provision of bins across Martin Place and other public areas it remains socially acceptable to dispose of cigarette butts on the ground.
I look forward to the results of the trial in 2016.