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New Full-Time Anti-Cigarette Official To Track And Slap Smokers With Hefty Fine

One Aussie city has taken its commitment to a smoke-free CBD to the next level.

Not only has City of Hobart Council announced strict bans on smoking in most of the city centre, but they have also now hired a full-time 'Tobacco Project Officer' to ensure all aspects of the policy are being implemented properly.

Council has vowed the CBD will be smoke-free by April 2020, with the new rules being introduced early next year.

The designated borders of the smoke-free area are Collins, Liverpool, Murray and Campbell streets. The move aims to create a healthier environment in public spaces like parks, playgrounds and outdoor dining areas.

READ MORE: Here Are The Final Few Places You Can Legally Smoke In Australia

A rough depiction of the non-smoking area. Image: Google Images.

Hobart City Council Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnet told The Mercury that there's been overwhelming support for smoke-free zones.

“First and foremost it’s about education and better health,” Burnet said.

“We need to de-normalise smoking. There’s also a significant amount of butt litter which ends up in our waterways.”

The full-time smoking officer has a range of responsibilities and powers, including the liberty to slap people smoking in the smoke-free area with a fine of up to $338.

The officer will also "engage and consult with the public and relevant tobacco organisations to create public awareness of smoke-free areas and regulations in Hobart as well as to provide support options for those who wish to give up smoking," the City of Hobart website reads.

Tasmania has the second-highest smoking population in the country. Image: Getty Images.

Tasmania has the second-largest smoking population in the country according to the National Health Survey published in 2015. In fact, nearly 20 percent of Tasmanians smoke, which is above the national average of 16 percent.

READ MORE: If I Can Quit Smoking This Way, So Can You

Apart from trying to encourage Hobartians to quit smoking and make healthier choices, the move also aligns with the city's 'Community Vision' -- which places emphasis on the importance of fresh air.

“We walk in the fresh air between all the best things in life," reads one of the visions.

All the new smoke-free areas are listed on the City of Hobart website.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au