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Auckland Council Endorses Development of a Smokefree Policy

MEDIA RELEASE – 16 August 2012

Auckland Council Endorses Development of a Smokefree Policy

Cancer Society Auckland commends Auckland Council on taking a significant step to achieving a Smokefree Auckland. Today the Auckland Council Regional Development and Operations Committee passed a resolution that a Smokefree policy would be developed for the Auckland region.

“We welcome Auckland Council taking a leadership role on Smokefree. Smoking kills 1700 Aucklanders every year. By adopting a Smokefree Auckland we will reduce tobacco related deaths and prevent our children from starting to smoke” says John Loof, CEO Cancer Society Auckland.

Auckland Council has set a goal in the Auckland Plan to reduce smoking to less than 3% by 2025. This is in line with the New Zealand Government goal to be Smokefree by 2025.

“To achieve this goal it is going to take central government making legislative changes, such as plain packaging and the recent removal of tobacco displays, in partnership with Local government making more and more places in our community Smokefree”.

“To achieve the Smokefree goal set out in the Auckland Plan we need to reduce the number of people smoking by 10,000 every year, for the next 12 years. And to do this we need to act now. Every year we don’t take action, more children will start smoking, and more people will die from smoking related illnesses.

For this policy to be effective we need to look at the research of Smokefree successful case studies; both locally and internationally, we need to have a consistent approach across the city, and we need to act now. A healthier future with less cancer for our children began today, well done Auckland Council”. John Loof, CEO Cancer Society Auckland.

Key Facts:

Smokefree Auckland is part of a number of actions taking place, including recent legislative changes around plain packaging, tax excise and tobacco displays going ‘under the counter’.

The Process now:

· The process to implement a Smokefree policy will include analysis of both national and international research, a review of the submissions from the development of the Auckland and Local Board plans, and will engage with key stakeholders to finalise the policy and implementation plan.

Public Support:

· Public support is high – 600 submissions to the Long Term Plan, 70% support for a Smokefree Auckland in NZ Herald poll: for extension of Smokefree policies by smokers and non-smokers

Why it matters:

· Research shows that when children grow up surrounded by adults who smoke they are much more likely to start. The average age we start to smoke in New Zealand is 14 years.

· Once started, it is very difficult to quit. By reducing the places that children are exposed to smoking and creating non-smoking environments, we can stop our children from starting.

© Scoop Media

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