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Readers rally to help clear the airWEEKLY POLL

BUTT OUT: Thursday’s front-page story on a proposed CBD smoking ban has readers talking online.

TAMWORTH residents have overwhelmingly thrown their support behind a move to ban smoking in public areas.

Locals have taken to social media in droves over the past two days to express their desire to see smokers forced to butt out.

The Leader revealed last weekthat several councillors are working on developing a motion to put to council early in the new year.

The proposal would see some community spaces, such as Peel St, declared smoke-free areas to protect others from the habit’s damaging health effects.

Hundreds of people took to The Leader’s website and Facebook page yesterday to provide their feedback, with mothers leading the charge in favour of the bans.

Local mum Fiona Margery described smoking as a “horrible habit” that was “forced into the faces” of the non-smokingpublic.

“It’s horrible pushing a pram past huge blankets of smoke and having to explain to my toddler what the yucky smell is and why people are sticking fire sticks in their mouths,” she said.

Another mum, Angie Trickett said it was “about time” Tamworth Regional Council took action to prevent residents breathing insecond-hand smoke.

“Nothing worse than getting smoke in your face or, worse, your children’s, when you are trying to enjoy a meal and there are smokers,” she said.

But not everyone, including avowed non-smokers, is happy with the proposal, which is being driven by councillors Warren Woodley, Tim Coates and Helen Tickle.

“I don’t smoke and even I think it’s a stupid idea to ban smoking down the main street,” said Anthony Rogers.

Meanwhile Jennifer Bowden described the move as “a load of rubbish”.

In 2011, Guyra Shire Council became the first of the region’s councils to ban smoking in alfresco dining areas.

Glen Innes Severn Council followed and Gunnedah Shire Council adopted a similar policy later that year.

Veteran councillor James Treloar said the one issue that troubled him was who was going to be responsible for ensuring compliance.

“I would be very supportive of it, but the one question I must have answered before I’d support it is, who polices it?” he said.

“There is no point putting a sign on the footpath that says ‘No smoking’ if nobody’s going to police it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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