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Let's Celebrate 12 Months Smokefree, Says PHA

Thursday 8 December

Let's Celebrate 12 Months Smokefree, Says PHA

The Public Health Association (PHA) is celebrating the first anniversary of the introduction of smokefree indoor workplaces, including bars, restaurants, clubs and casinos. Saturday marks 12 months since the implementation of the smokefree legislation.

"One hundred percent of people now have choices when they go out; one year ago 75 percent did not," says director Gay Keating.

"Non-smokers, who make up three-quarters of the population, previously had to put up with inhaling other people's tobacco smoke. This smoke contained poisonous chemicals like arsenic, hydrogen cyanide and ammonia.

"Now non-smokers can breathe safe air when they are out socialising, and smokers can pop outside for a cigarette. Everyone is catered for."

She hails the passage of the smokefree bars and restaurants legislation as one of the most significant life-saving initiatives in recent times.

"Tobacco smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand and exposure to second-hand smoke means non-smokers also suffer death and disease."

She says that we will continue to see the positive effects of the smoking ban for years to come.

"When people have to go outside to smoke, they smoke less, or quit. I expect the impacts of the legislation to show up as a decrease in smoking rates over the next few years."

ENDS


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