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Smokefree Policy sees dedicated fresh air zones

Fresh air zones are popping up all over Napier and Hastings, after the two councils passed a joint Smokefree Policy in November.

Hastings District councillor Sandra Hazlehurst said the message is not anti-smoking, rather it is about ensuring people can have access to outdoor areas that are smoke free, particularly children and diners.

The new smoke-free fresh air zones include all bus stops and bus shelters, the entrances to public buildings such as the council offices and libraries, café dining areas on pavements, council-owned sports, and playgrounds and reserves in Hastings and Napier.

In Hastings the smoke-free areas also include the central city square, around the water feature and town clock. Events supported by the councils will also be encouraged to be smoke free.

The policy was developed after a survey by the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board showed nearly 97 per cent of people thought children’s playgrounds should be smoke-free; 80 per cent thought entrances to public buildings should be smoke-free, and almost 80 per cent wanted outdoor dining areas to be smoke-free. Between 70 percent and 79 percent of people wanted bus stops and train stations, parks and sports fields, and outdoor music and sporting events to be smoke-free.

The policy consultation showed most smokers do not want their smoke to affect other people and are happy to move away from these areas if they do want to light up.

There are no fines or penalties for breaking the policy rules. Rather the policy is about providing more smoke free spaces.

Napier City Councillor Michelle Pyke says she is pleased with the policy implementation.

“This really is a positive move and given the response to the survey, including smokers, was to keep these areas smoke free, I’m sure we will see a very good voluntary compliance,” Michelle says.

Signs advising of smoke free areas will be gradually installed over the next 12 months.

To view the full policy click here

11 January 2016

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