We Need a New Solution: Adelaide’s Smoking Bins Are More Hazardous than Helpful

I sent a stern email to the Adelaide City Lord Mayor Michael Harbison this evening.

Being an ardent anti-smoker, and a photographer of all things that "get on my bloody nerves", I took the time to compile a message that not only asked for a solution, but also was considerate of the recipients position in my local community and power he has to make important changes. By publishing it here I realise that I take full responsibility for my words, beliefs and actions. But shouldn’t we all?

Here is my email to the current Lord Mayor, Mr Michael Harbison:

Dear Lord Mayor Michael Harbison,

My wife and I park our car in the glorious Adelaide parkland’s several times a week, enjoying the morning sun on quick walk into the heart of Adelaide. Unfortunately, along this 2klm walk, we encounter strange aluminum devices that invariably have spewed their contents across the pavement – or worse still, they blow carcinogenic smoke-rings into unsuspecting walkers.
Interestingly, this device is at a child’s level, thereby hurting the younger generation that our City Council is endeavoring to provide a better lifestyle, a healthier choice and a wealth of entertainment for – but instead are slowing killing them the disgusting habits of Australian Smokers who have failed to ring the QUIT helpline.

In your capacity as head administrator for a progressive, proactive and innovative city that provides employment for an incredible amount of willing workers every day of the year, I ask that you take the time to see the conditions that your city workers are forced within. There’s no doubt that visitors to our city would not enjoy having their time physically ruined by carcinogenic and poisonous substances.
In the event that you are unable to leave your office due to work-commitments, a series of photographs are available at my online photo-gallery that show the atrocity that many of us are forced to endure.

Please Mr Harbison, Paul, Lord Mayor,
Help in the fight to keep our city clean to live and work in. Find a better way for smokers to remove their butts from our sidewalk.
PS. It’s good to see a Lord Mayor who has his own blog.


Stephen Mitchell, Adelaide, Australia (aka stephentrepreneur)
An Ardent-Anti-smoker who’s had enough!


If Michael’s office don’t read this email, they’ll certainly see it soon enough. The internet is big, the online community is massive, and the grapevine is very fast!

Smokers Beware

This will not be the last of my photographs. But be assured, I won’t photograph you, only your antics. If I catch you stubbing your butt on the sidewalk, you may be told "Hey, you dropped something!" If you drop your butt and walk away, don’t expect your children to grow up without deformities. Do you know what you are inhaling?!

Disclaimer and Summary

This blog is not necessarily the opinion of my family, friends, employer, associations and/or clubs. But it is mine. While you have the right to smoke, you do not have the right to pollute my environment, foul my oxygen, kill unborn children nor introduce harmful chemicals into public areas.

If you are a friend or colleague that disagrees with this, choose to no longer be associated with me, nor want to be my friend, that is unfortunate. I cannot change your decision.

Understand this: I value my health over all things, including our friendship.
But I believe in OUR combined health so much that I will not be compromised in my self-beliefs. In the same way that a religious person believes wholeheartedly in all powerful being that controls the universe, I believe in the power of individuals to control their own destiny. Your health cannot be left to indecision, fate, or "whatever will be, will be".

You will die a long and painful death if you choose to smoke, if not now, later in your retirement years. Money better invested in superannuation for the future, but instead you’re inhaling noxious fumes in cigarettes that shorten your life expectancy.

One Last Word

I did the right thing by my wife: Before I sent this email to Michael Harbison, I read this to her to ensure we both agreed with the word-choice, the sentiment, and whether I was stepping over some non-drawn line in the ground in our relationship. She agreed wholeheartedly with the whole email, suggesting a few word changes. Seems I tend to get aggressive about my passions.

But heck, wouldn’t you?

2 thoughts on “We Need a New Solution: Adelaide’s Smoking Bins Are More Hazardous than Helpful

Add yours

  1. Nice post stephen. I can’t say I agree in some respects- I value free will over health thus causing the discrepancy- but you’re absolutely right in both your vehemence and your passion.

    At the end of the day, people have no right to damage my life without my permission, tacit as democracy would have me “give” it.

    More like this please :)


  2. Thanks Gareth.

    I understand that not everyone is going to agree with my passion. That’s the great part of having a democratic society – argument and dispute can be handled in a common forum without leading to violence.

    Unfortunately, smoking is the complete opposite: It is violent, brutal, and often stabs a person in the heart when they least expect it. It kills many people in their later years because the human body becomes less able to fight the bad chemicals being introduced into the blood-stream.

    Gareth, thank you for your comment. Yes, more of the same, but not every day!


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