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Public support smokefree bars and restaurants

New study shows public support smokefree bars and restaurants

Public support for smokefree bars and restaurants is mounting, as new research shows that most New Zealanders would either be more likely to go to smokefree bars and restaurants, or that a smoking ban wouldn’t make any difference to their patronage.

Smokefree Coalition Director Leigh Sturgiss says that the latest research adds to the weight of evidence showing going smokefree will not affect patronage at hospitality venues. Ms Sturgiss says the results are consistent with overseas studies.

“Those opposing the proposed ban are ignoring the wishes of the majority of New Zealanders. Most people don’t smoke, and they would like to be able to have a night out without paying the price of smelly clothes and hair, and sore eyes.”

The survey of more than 2000 people was carried out by the Health Sponsorship Council as part of their monitoring requirements, part of which is to explore public perceptions about hospitality workers’ rights to work in a smokefree environment; perceived impacts from any legislation change. A preliminary report of these results has been prepared for the Smokefree Coalition and Apaarangi Tautoko Auahi Kore.

The researchers found that 88 percent of those surveyed would be more likely to visit smokefree bars, nightclubs and pubs, or that their patronage would be unaffected.

Ms Sturgiss says the research also found that nearly 80 percent of people believed that workers had a right to work in smokefree pubs, bars and nightclubs.

“This backs up what health groups have been saying for some time – that 100 workplace deaths a year due to exposure to second-hand smoke is unacceptable.”

Director of ATAK, Shane Bradbrook said that over three-quarters of Mâori respondents agreed that workers had the right to work in pubs, bars and nightclubs free of tobacco smoke.

“Clearly there has been a significant shift within Mâoridom on this issue. Nearly 80 percent of these Mâori believe that hospitality workers deserve safe working conditions – that’s a mandate to proceed with the smokefree legislation.”

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