Smokefree bars/restaurants will help 1000s quit
Smokefree bars and restaurants will help thousands to quit
Extending smokefree legislation to include smoking bans in restaurants, clubs and bars will give people quitting smoking a better chance of success, says Helen Glasgow, Executive Director of The Quit Group.
The Quit Group will deliver its submission to the Health Select Committee discussing amendments to the Smokefree Environments Bill today.
“For most smokers smoking is not a choice,” she said. “It is an addiction, and they would like to be free of it. Strengthening present legislation to make all workplaces, cafes, bars and clubs totally smokefree would greatly increase their chances of success.”
She said recent governments had made a large investment in encouraging smoking cessation and that this investment should be backed up by strong smokefree legislation.
“Only then will the full health and economic benefits of New Zealand’s investment in smoking cessation be finally realised. Without it, smoking, with all its damaging effects, will persist at high rates, because new smokers will more easily be recruited and current smokers will find it hard to quit.”
She said the highest rates of smoking in New Zealand, and the worst health outcomes from it, are among Mäori, followed by Pacific peoples.
“When a high proportion of friends, family and colleagues smoke, it is easier to become a smoker and far more difficult to quit. It follows that both Mäori and Pacific people would stand to gain most from a law which creates social and work environments which are smokefree.”
She said that the Quitline had registered 58,000 smokers on its quit smoking programme in the past year.
“Our 34 advisors who talk each week to hundreds of smokers have first-hand knowledge of their problems with secondhand smoke.”
As part of its submission presentation to the select committee, The Quit Group will perform a waiata in memory of those who have died from smoking.