Queen Street Mall smoking ban from September 1

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will announce that September 1 will herald the start of a smoke-free mall which was first flagged by his predecessor Campbell Newman last November.

Under the ban, smokers will face a $200 fine if they are caught lighting up in the mall.

Up to 900,000 people frequent the mall each week and a 2010 survey found 80 per cent of respondents supported a total smoking ban in the shopping strip.

map of the areas where smoking will be banned in brisbane's CBD from September 1, 2011.

map of the areas where smoking will be banned in brisbane's CBD from September 1, 2011.

Cr Quirk said council would install signage at all entry points to the mall precinct with messages in different languages to educate the public.

“We get about 52,000 overseas students through the mall so we’ll be targeting the multicultural media to get the message across,” said Cr Quirk.

He said council officers would not automatically fine smokers in the mall from September 1, unless they refused to butt out their cigarettes.

“First they’ll be asked to put out their cigarette. If this is ignored, they will then be issued with a warning,” said Cr Quirk.

“A fine will only be issued if the individual ignores these first two requests.”

Smokers in the mall were less than impressed with the move and declared the $200 fine “ridiculous”.

Natalie Wilton, 38, of Geebung on Brisbane’s northside said the Queen Street Mall was “still an open area”.

“I know there are some inconsiderate smokers but I don’t smoke in closed in areas,” Ms Wilton said.

“I understand the non-smoker has a right (to a smoke free environment) but how about my rights.”

Andre Curtis, 38, of Tingalpa in Brisbane’s bayside said the ban might encourage some smokers to give up.

“It won’t affect me because I won’t be working here by then,” Mr Curtis said.

“I don’t know that it’s fair but what is?”

The Chief Executive of Cancer Council Queensland Jeff Dunn congratulated the council on the initiative.

“This will protect people from the toxic effects of tobacco smoke and create a more pleasant environment for shoppers, tourists and retailers,” said Professor Dunn.

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