By ZOE SATHERLEY
TINY tots Luke and Amber Curtis can thank their mum, Kim, for winning them smoke-free air to breathe. So passionate is this Caniaba mother about the dangers of second-hand smoke, she spearheaded a campaign to make local children's playgrounds smoke-free. After writing to all Lismore councillors expressing her concerns, and speaking at Tuesday's council meeting, she is delighted that the council has voted to ban smoking within 10 metres of public playgrounds.
Lismore City councillors have unanimously supported a ban on smoking within 10 metres of all children's playground equipment. The ban will begin at Heritage Park as soon as signs can be erected. It is envisaged that adults using the park will help in self-policing the ban. Popular play areas Wade Park and Lismore Memorial Baths are likely to be next. Caniaba mother Kim Curtis is delighted by the council's response to her concerns. A former smoker, Mrs Curtis said she felt differently about smoking now that she was a mother. "It's my duty to protect my children's health and well-being," she said. "Research has shown there is no safe level for exposure to other people's smoke. "Smoking is one of the most harmful toxic problems society is faced with. Asthma, glue ear, SIDS and cancer are all related to second-hand smoke. "I am sick and tired of taking my kids to the park and having other parents light up cigarettes next to us. "I usually just pick up the kids and move away but then another smoker comes along. "It's the same at the beach or the swimming pool." Cr Jenny Dowell urged the council to support her motion calling for the smoking ban. She said that councils in Ballina, Liverpool, Hawkesbury River, Manly and Mosman had already imposed similar bans. "When children see adults smoking in a family-friendly place it 'normalises' smoking, making children more likely to try cigarettes," she said. Cr Brian Henry unsuccessfully attempted to move a motion calling for public consultation before a ban was introduced.