Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Smoking Ban in Perth City: A Huge Step Forward

I was flicking through our local newspaper a few minutes ago while waiting for Felix to finish up in the bathroom so he could get to bed, and immediately my eye was caught by a mass of Letters to the Editor about the new smoking ban about to take place in Perth City.

Maybe I should start reading the news a bit more frequently.

I jumped online to check the facts and just can't believe it: smoking will be banned in Perth's pedestrian malls  as of right now.

A long overdue reason to celebrate! The dangers of smoking and passive smoking are well established, and it's about time some stronger laws were put in place to protect people who choose to not smoke, but are forced to every time they go out in public. It's bad enough for me, as a healthy non-smoker. I can't stand the smell and hate having to breathe it in, but this will mean such a difference for Victor and all other people with cystic fibrosis or other respiratory diseases. I haven't taken to boys to the city very much at all but now that smoking is banned there I will take them more often, especially now that there is so much for young kids in the city: a new water fountain playground for a start, and I'd love to take them to the WA Museum. It seems like little old Perth is getting a bit of a makeover.

Currently, the worst places for cigarette smoke I've found are outside shopping centres (I usually have to walk through a cloud of smoke on the journey from the car to the door), and, shockingly, in the streets surrounding Princess Margaret Hospital. Yes, a children's hospital. There are smoking bans in both locations effective to a certain distance outside entrances but that just means people move one step to the side to smoke: I still pass clouds of smoke on my way in and out of these places. I would absolutely love to see a total ban on smoking in public (just like how it's illegal to drink alcohol in the street). I don't particularly care what people do in their own homes but when their actions are affecting me and my family negatively then I really start to care a lot. At that moment, their business becomes my business. And woe betide anyone who injures the lungs of my baby: Hell hath no fury like this Mum catching someone inflicting injury upon her child. The scorned woman pales in comparison.

So congratulations, City of Perth. As far as cities go you are small, perhaps a little behind the times, maybe a little too safe and familiar: but you are leading the way in disease prevention and helping to protect my babies. Right now, there is nowhere I'd rather be.

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