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Support for NZ smokefree bars and restaurants

Jump in support for NZ smokefree bars and restaurants

A UMR opinion poll has found increasing support among New Zealanders for smokefree bars and restaurants.

The poll, which was commissioned by the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand, surveyed more than 750 people over the age of 18 on their attitudes towards smoking in bars and restaurants.

Support for bans on smoking in bars and restaurants has increased since a previous survey in 2002, with 66 percent of 2003 respondents supporting restaurant smoking bans compared to 60 percent in 2002. Support for smoking bans in bars has jumped from about 38 percent in 2002 to about 50 percent in April 2003.

Heart Foundation director Dr Diana North says women are more likely to support smoking bans, with 52 percent calling for completely smokefree bars and restaurants.

The Smokefree Coalition says the survey results reflect increasing public awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke, which has been shown to cause cancer, heart disease and strokes.

Smokefree Coalition Director Leigh Sturgiss says some people may initially have regarded proposed smokefree legislation banning smoking in bars and restaurants, as anti-smoker. However she says many people are now informed about the toxic effects of second-hand smoke and this public concern is reflected in the poll results.

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