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Hobart smoking ban given the green light

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Smoking in central Hobart will soon be limited to only a handful of areas, after council last night voted to expand its cigarette ban.

From April 15 next year, it will be illegal to smoke in the block bounded by Liverpool, Murray, Collins and Campbell Streets.

That includes the area outside the Royal Hobart Hospital which has been under the microscope for some time.

There'll also be smoke free zones at Franklin Square, Soldiers Memorial Oval Community Hub and the University Rose Gardens, starting from October 15 this year. 

Director of Quit Tasmania Abbey Smith is commending city council members for their decision.

"Given that Tasmania has the second highest rate smoking rate in the country with about 70,500 Tasmanians still smoking, there's still a lot we can do," she said.

"We know that creating smoke-free environments really helps to denormalise smoking, but as well it can be really helpful in terms of people wanting to make quit attempts."  

Quit Tasmania is hoping the bans also act as a deterrent for young people who are thinking of taking up the habit. 

"We don't want young people to start taking up smoking either and we know that smoke-free areas really do help prevent smoking uptake among young people."  

Anyone caught lighting up in the new zones from next year could face a $326 fine.

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