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Auckland Council Makes Outdoor Dining Smokefree


Auckland Council Makes Outdoor Dining Smokefree

Auckland Council has strengthened their Smokefree Policy to make all outdoor dining on footpath areas smokefree. The new policy, which will come into effect from November 2017, requires all cafés and restaurants with licenses to provide outdoor dining on footpaths to ensure these areas are smokefree.

The move has been welcomed by Cancer Society Auckland Northland, who have been campaigning for stronger measures to reduce smoking rates in Auckland, including smokefree outdoor dining.

Cancer Society Auckland Northland Chief Executive John Loof says Auckland Council has listened and responded to the people of Auckland who want Smokefree outdoor dining and will be delighted that this is going ahead.

He says “the immediate benefit will be to clear the air and make these places more pleasant, cleaner and safer for diners, families and hospitality staff”.

“Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable cancer in Auckland. Auckland Council’s revised Smokefree Policy and Implementation Plan show they have stepped up to their responsibility to help reduce the devastating impact tobacco has on Auckland families, our communities and the environment,” says Loof.

“We want to acknowledge Auckland Council for making significant and meaningful progress for Auckland,” he says.

Other updates in the Council Smokefree Policy include putting smokefree conditions in Council leases, funding agreements and events, as well as making urban centres and public beaches smokefree across the Auckland region.

Smokefree outdoor dining has already been implemented in all Australian states, with Victoria being the final state to introduce the policy in August 2017. Queensland has enjoyed smokefree dining for over a decade.

These measures are well embedded and are well received across Australia, which has lower smoking rates and cancer deaths than New Zealand.

In New Zealand, a 6-month smokefree outdoor dining pilot involving 20 restaurants in Christchurch over the 2016/17 summer showed 95% of customers supported smokefree outdoor dining. None of the venues who completed the project reported a decrease in customers, with many reporting that being completely smokefree was good for business.

Strengthening the Smokefree Policy will have positive health impacts, according to Cancer Society Auckland Northland.

“Research shows exposure to second hand smoke in outdoor spaces is greatest in outdoor dining areas. Making them smokefree not only protects people’s health, but also supports those who are trying to quit by removing visual smoking cues and triggers,” says CEO John Loof.

“Filling the outdoor areas of our region’s wonderful cafés and restaurants with cigarette smoke just doesn’t seem logical anymore”.

“Smokefree spaces also reduce children’s exposure to smoking. The more children see smoking the more likely they are to start,” he says.

(Ends)

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