Smoking signs raise the ire of office workers

LOVE her or hate her, you’ve got to admire Dawn Crichlow.

She’s one of the rare politicians I can actually say I respect, because when she’s passionate about something, she stands up and fights for it – no matter how controversial of unpopular her view may be.

Her latest target is smokers. Specifically, she’s sick of office workers who duck outside for a quick cigarette break mid-morning or mid-afternoon, creating a smoke cloud around building entrances and on pathways in the process.


So, she’s erected a handful of very official-looking (but legally groundless) Council signs with the slogan, “Smoking doesn’t belong here”, and she’s had them placed in strategic locations throughout Southport’s CBD.

From a legal standpoint, there’s nothing stopping smokers from puffing away in those spots.

But Crichlow’s goal, it seems, is to shame smokers into submission.

“When there are groups on the footpath, people cannot get past without having to deal with the passive smoke, which does not belong here,” she said.

Fair enough. I’m not a smoker, and I’m not a big fan of passive smoke clusters blocking building entrances, so I can understand her point.

And I guess if you’re a non-smoker and you’re impacted by this type of passive smoke three or four times a day, it could get annoying and potentially impact your health.

But for the most part, enduring a few seconds of passive smoke every now and then isn’t really such a big deal, is it?

These signs seem like a bit of overkill, and even Crichlow has admitted they’re not always being well received.

“So far the young and elderly respect it but I always get a mouthful from the well-dressed, middle-aged women,” she said.

I lived in Sydney for a number of years, and I remember laws being introduced to ban smokers from standing within a few metres of buildings. It was actually great – it certainly worked in clearing the smoke cloud – but it didn’t shame smokers into changing their habits; instead, it politely required them to find a spot other than a building’s front entrance to smoke.

So I reckon if Crichlow is plonking “Smoking doesn’t belong here” signs all around Southport, she should create a few designated smoking areas at the same time.

Seems only fair, right?

The Meddler

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