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Smoking ban: Bourke Street Mall tipped to go smoke-free

Smokers look set to be banned from lighting up in Bourke Street Mall, and the Queen Victoria Market could soon follow.

The City of Melbourne has surveyed city-goers, and found overwhelming support for the ban, with 83 per cent of businesses and people supporting the idea.

The council will vote on the proposed ban next week.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said those caught smoking in no smoking zones will be fined, but fines aren’t the focus.

“If you smoke it will be a $100 fine,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“But really, our focus, as it has been in the other areas, is about education and informing people.”

This year, only 15 people have been fined for smoking in the city’s ten existing smoke-free zones.

If it goes ahead, the Bourke Street Mall smoke-free zone will be the largest in the CBD.

Surprisingly, the ban also has the support of more than half of smokers.

“67 per cent of the smokers in our survey supported the smoke-free ban,” Ms Capp said.

“39 per cent of them said that they thought it might actually stop them smoking.”

The Lord Mayor said smoking at the Queen Victoria Market may soon be banned, too.

“It’s an areas that we are currently looking at,” she said.

Vaping is not currently banned in smoke-free zones across the CBD, but the council is looking at including e-cigarettes in the bans.

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