New smoking ban introduced at popular shopping strip from Friday

Smokers have run out of puff in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall with a ban in place from Friday.

The popular shopping strip, and a segment of Bourke Street between Elizabeth Street and Russell Place are smoke free under new council regulations.

People caught taking a drag in a smoke-free area can be fined $100.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said smoking took a terrible toll on the community and the ban would let the 60,000 daily mall users breathe easier.

“Every year about 4000 Victorians die from smoking-related illnesse, and it affects the health and well-being of thousands more,” she said.

Smokers will be banned from lighting up in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall from Friday. Source: File/Getty Images

“There is no safe level of exposure to smoking.”

Quit Victoria director Sarah White expects the ban to be adopted by other councils.

“Quitting can be hard for some, and not having the smell of cigarette smoke and the sight of people smoking around can really help people trying to quit to stay on track,” Dr White said.

Councillor Beverley Pinder wants the ban to go even further and force smokers to butt out across the entire CBD.

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