A proposed new law banning smoking in public places may be useless without adequate policing to enforce the ban, says a university health campaigner.
The University of Wollongong’s Share the Air committee says this was the reason the University’s smoking ban wasn’t 100 per cent successful. “This sort of thing can only work if the whole area is constantly policed,” says member Kendra Pietruszewski.
“People can start smoking again as soon as you walk away,” she says. “It’s difficult when you don’t really have authority” The University requires all smokers to be at least 10 meters away from buildings when they light up.
Doctor Sal Sanzone of UOW’s Graduate School of Medicine says there isn’t a need to aggressively police the ban. “Most people at the Uni self-regulate…in the medical faculty we have a rule that if you sit outside the building and have a smoke you get a dirty look”
The new ban overlaps with the rise of cigarette prices as the Government tries to discourage people from smoking. “Hopefully restricting area for smokers will become such a hassle they’ll give up” says Doctor Sanzone.
“In an ideal world there would be smoke free zones and everyone would comply, but you can’t do it all” he says.
Words by: ALISON DONNELLAN