Health, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Good to see smoking bans have been extended

A short break from posting my holiday blogs... From today, smoking bans have been extended to include the entrances to most government buildings, as well as outdoor dining areas. This is all good. We're way behind the other states on this. It's about time non-smokers, who make up the vast majority of the population, had the right to more smoke-free places, including while eating. The chan

transport

Smoking banned completely from railway stations and tram platform stops from 1st March

From next Saturday, 1st of March, smoking will be banned from the entirety of all railway stations and tram platform stops. The new arrangements will extend the existing smoke-free zones, which currently only include covered areas of railway platforms and inside covered tram and bus shelters. โ€œExtending smoke-free areas is good news for public transport passengers and supports other governme

Culture

Are mobile phones the new cigarettes?

Fifty years ago the people waiting on this bench might have been smoking -- now they're all fiddling with their phones. It's long been thought that mobile phones might be replacing cigarettes: Teenagers may be getting healthier because mobile phones are replacing cigarettes as a symbol of rebellion and fashion. Clive Bates, Ash director, suggested that the need to stay in fashion by o

Consumerism, transport

Some tobacconists are Myki retailers. Should they be?

I suppose trains need signals. And perhaps it's another move to make Melbourne more European: this Cignall tobacconist in Queen Street is a Myki retailer. I'm not sure I have a strong opinion on this, but it does seem like an odd match, given smoking is banned on public transport vehicles, is also banned in the undercover areas of stations and stops, and is generally frowned-upon these days

Health

Down down, smoking is down

Excellent. Smoking rates are continuing to drop, from 21.2% in 1998 down to 15.3% now. So, how about the next step, government? Now that smoking is almost entirely banned indoors, what about extending smoking bans to include all undercover areas -- I'm thinking particularly of under shop awnings. (If I ran the world, I'd be looking at smoking bans in highly trafficked outdoor areas, such as

Health, Working life

The health check

Apparently there have been some alarming results from the workplace health checks underway at the moment. Victorian workers have been given a scare by a State Government-run health program which has found a high percentage donโ€™t exercise enough with a number of people asked to see a doctor within 24 hours. We've had ours on Friday (everybody opted-in, I think), and we seem to be a pretty hea

Culture

It’s just not that hard

It's just not that hard to stub out that cigarette when you get rid of it, rather than chucking it on the ground. It's just not that hard to look at the lights outside the lift when it arrives. If the top light is on, it's going up. If the bottom light is on, it's going down. It's just not that hard to leave a message on the voicemail when you ring, rather than making me guess who it was.

Melbourne

The Dumbarse, in three acts

Act 1: He went to stand between the carriages for a smoke. (It was a Hitachi. Very retro.) It should be pointed out that this doesn't stop the smoke smell drifting through the carriages, though obviously it's better than doing it in the carriage. Apart from the fact that smoking anywhere is dangerous for your health, the last time I saw something like this attempted, the half-a-dozen undercover Au