SMOKING and vaping are officially outlawed in the five town centres in Vincent as of November 22.
For the first six months smokers will be ‘educated’ rather than fined for lighting up.
The main strips affected include Angove and Fitzgerald Street in North Perth, Scarborough Beach Road in Mount Hawthorn, Oxford Street in Leederville, and the main strips of William Street and Beaufort Street.
Mayor Emma Cole launched the new policy this week: “I am excited to see residents and visitors enjoy fresh air, free from smoking and vaping in our entertainment precincts.
“Vaping levels across the country are rising, especially among younger people, so the smoke-free areas will include no smoking and no vaping signage.
“We want to encourage people to quit, and young people not to start smoking and vaping. At the same time, it makes for much more inviting town centres, where we enjoy our alfresco dining and outdoor culture.
During consultation last year 345 submissions were received, with 61 per cent in favour of the smoke ban.
The bulk of the submissions opposed came from smokers and vapers or from bar-owners concerned it’d drive away customers. The council’s countered with research from other cities that’ve tried smoking bans and found no negative impact on businesses.
The ban was initially scheduled for 2025 but has come in three years ahead of schedule.
Libby Jardine from the Cancer Council WA congratulated Vincent on the move and said in a statement: “We hope that other local governments will be inspired to prioritise tobacco control and expand smoke-free public places for the benefit of their communities.”
Vincent’s also bringing in tough rules that all but prevent smoking-focussed businesses like vape shops or cigar stores to open up in its town centres, and Bayswater is likewise investigating whether such shops shouldn’t be allowed near schools or parks after seeing an uptick in youth vaping.
by DAVID BELL