Burnie GP and councillor Themba Bulle calls for national smoking ban

ACT NOW: Themba Bulle says smoking should be banned in Australia rather than tackled by smaller measures. Picture: Brodie Weeding
ACT NOW: Themba Bulle says smoking should be banned in Australia rather than tackled by smaller measures. Picture: Brodie Weeding

A Tasmanian GPhas called for smoking to be banned not just in his city but the entire country.

General practitioner Themba Bulle, also a Burnie councillor, said everyone was aware of the health impact of smoking and its cost to the health system.

"We should be moving more progressively and banning smoking completely," he said.

"We're taking this issue in small measures. We should have a more total approach..."

Cr Bulle called for a ban as Burnie City Council unanimously passed revisions to its Smoke Free Areas Policy at its meeting on Tuesday night.

The policy reaffirms the council's obligation under the Public Health Act to prohibit smoking in certain areas and commitment to control measures, such as refusing to provide smoking paraphernalia in smoke-free areas.

It does not answer repeated calls from the meeting public gallery to create additional smoke-free zones but there are provisions should the council decide to do so.

CBD CIGGIE: Smoking in smoke-free zones in the Burnie central business district is a common concern. Picture: File

CBD CIGGIE: Smoking in smoke-free zones in the Burnie central business district is a common concern. Picture: File

Retailer turned councillor David Pease said banning smoking in Burnie's central business district "in the longer term would be a good idea", provided there were designated smoking spaces.

"We can't just blanket ban something without giving people a place to go or several places to go," he said.

Councillor Ken Dorsey said a self-enforced model for smoke-free zones would help transform Burine into "a no smoking town".

"I don't know what would happen on a plane if I lit up a cigarette but I think someone would tell me not to do it," he said.

Councillor Teeny Brumby, however, said "it didn't fair very well for me when I approached someone to suggest it wasn't the right space (to smoke)".

Cr Dorsey, a former-smoker, agreed with Cr Brumby's concerns but said "hopefully through custom it would reduce".

"This could be our trademark.This could be something that Burnie is the first city that has gone non-smoking," he said.

This story This GP wants smoking banned in Australia first appeared on The Advocate.