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No ifs, no butts, as city goes smoke-free

8 December 2004

No ifs, no butts, as city goes smoke-free

As of midnight on Thursday, smokers will be extinguishing their last cigarettes inside restaurants and bars throughout New Zealand as new smoke-free laws come into force.

The Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act 2003 comes into effect on 10 December, banning smoking in licensed premises and workplaces.

One of Auckland City’s key responsibilities under the new law is to take account of the number of cigarette butts on the street. According to a 2002 estimate from the Auckland Regional Council, Aucklanders drop an estimated 25 million cigarette butts on roads every year. The butts are washed through the stormwater system and end up in our harbours.

“By making a small change to their daily habits, people can make a big difference to Auckland’s environment,” says Surendra Dass, Auckland City’s manager of streetscape operations. “This is a great city – so let’s look after it.”

Auckland City will be giving away free pocket-sized cigarette butt containers on Friday lunchtime in Freyburg Square under the ‘Save your butts’ banner. These sealed containers hold butts until smokers can later dispose of them in bins.

“If every smoker in Auckland threw a few less cigarette butts on the ground, it would be of huge benefit to our streams, beaches and harbours,” says Mr Dass. “Auckland City encourages everyone to play their part and take responsibility for the state of our environment by disposing of their litter responsibly.”

For further information on rubbish and recycling, call Auckland City on (09) 379 2020 or visit us at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz.

ENDS

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