Smoke rises from a burning cigarette in Bordeaux, France, September 19, 2017.
Smoke rises from a burning cigarette in Bordeaux, France, September 19, 2017. Reuters/Regis Duvignau

North Sydney will soon be smoke-free. Mayor Jilly Gibson has proposed to make the CBD the first smoke-free business district in Australia, and the North City Council unanimously passed the recommendation earlier this week.

The proposal will go next to community consultations, which would be completed by Christmas. It means that by early 2019, North Sydney CBD could become smoke-free. All shared public spaces would ban cigarette-smoking, and this includes outdoor seating areas of restaurants and cafes.

“Cigarettes are not only bad for smokers; their cigarette butts litter our streets and the secondhand smoke is detrimental to everyone’s health,” the mayor said (via Sydney Morning Herald). “It is important that we create a safe environment for our community where everyone can enjoy our outdoor open spaces.”

As Ms Gibson said, making North Sydney CBD smoke-free was a natural progression. Brett Whitely Place and Elizabeth Plaza had both gone smoke-free in 2016.

Those who would not comply wouldn’t face fines, though. The ban would be self-regulated.

“We haven’t enforced it in Brett Whitely Place and Elizabeth Plaza, and that works brilliantly there,” she told the ABC. “It’s more a matter really of community goodwill and people taking on what we’re trying to achieve in our CBD. We want to make it a great place for workers, pedestrians, shoppers, school kids and residents.

“And making it smoke-free just goes hand in glove with that.”

As for whether electronic cigarettes would also be banned, Ms Gibson admitted they hadn’t thought about it yet.

Once the council has finished consultations by December, they will hand out stickers that says “NS.NS,” which means “North Sydney. No Smoking.”