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Smokefree bars good for health and business

MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday 27 February

Smokefree bars good for health and business


The Cancer Society is urging bar owners to get behind legislation that seeks to ban smoking in hospitality venues. The Health Select Committee heard further oral submissions on the Smokefree Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill and Supplementary Order Paper in Wellington today.

“It is difficult to understand why some New Zealand bar owners are against legislation that is likely to increase their profits, and improve the health of their workers,” said Cancer Society Health Promotion Programme Manager Liz Price.

“Legislation requiring smokefree bars and restaurants came into effect in California in 1998. Despite doom and gloom predictions from tobacco industry front groups, revenues have increased each year since the ban was implemented. Compliance is high, as is public support.”

Liz Price said it was estimated that more than 100 New Zealanders died from exposure to second-hand smoke in the workplace each year.

“Many bar workers are exposed to high levels of second-hand smoke, day after day, week after week. This legislation aims to protect their health.

“This is not about denying smokers the right to smoke. It’s about saying to smokers ‘please pop outside to have your cigarette, so the bar staff don’t have to smoke it with you’. After all, that’s what you have to do in virtually every other workplace in New Zealand.”

The Cancer Society supports completely smokefree workplaces, including restaurants and bars. The Society does not support the current proposal that smoking be allowed in up to 50 percent of the area of bars and restaurants, even if that area is fully enclosed and ventilated.

ENDS

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