Smokers were no longer allowed to smoke in Canberra Centre, Woden Plaza and Cooleman Court on this day in 1993, as they had become smoke-free zones the previous day, on World No Tobacco Day. While shoppers could no longer puff away as they browsed, the Canberra Centre's marketing manager, Anne Williamson, said she did not think this would discourage visitors.
"The Canberra Centre has so much to offer, so we believe it won't discourage anybody, and people will be quite happy not to smoke," she said. During the first few weeks of the smoking ban, people would just be reminded of the new rules if seen smoking, rather than asked to leave.
The executive director of the Tobacco Institute of Australia, Jerome Mostyn, said the new ban was ridiculous. "It's time to get the smokers in from the cold ... I honestly feel Australia has become the laughing stock of the world, with these furtive groups of people puffing on pavements," he said. "The extra cost in getting these ventilation and air-conditioning plants up to scratch will more than pay for itself in a matter of months because you're going to have considerable increased productivity."
But the Minister for Health, Wayne Berry, disagreed. "That's not the answer at all," he said, "The tobacco companies will always look for solutions which encourage the sale of a dreadfully addictive product which damages your health. Now nobody can justify that."
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