Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: January 30th, 2013
What if you couldn’t smoke anywhere but your own home?

Sounds a bit outlandish, does it? Well, it’s soon may become a reality in one city in Australia.

It’s called the world’s toughest smoking ban and while the Mayor of Melbourne doesn’t believe the city council will pass it, there is a lot of support for the radical move. It would ban smoking in all public places, which would limit where smokers could light up to pretty much just their homes and their cars.

The argument, besides the health one, is that such a ban would make the city more attractive to tourists. Melbourne, a city in Victoria, Australia, is a popular tourist stop for Aussies, second only to Sydney, but its tourist dollars pale in comparison.

It’s also the second largest city in the country and has roughly the same population as Los Angeles (around 4 million). You can see the scope of such a ban. This is no small hamlet.

Australia has been a leader in cracking down on big tobacco, recently legislating harsh packaging laws for cigarette manufacturers. The olive drab cigarette packages will have graphic health warnings and generic brand labeling. And New Zealand, the U.K., and even China are expected to follow suit.

Some predict the bold packaging law that has won support in the high court poises the country to pass an all out national ban on tobacco.

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