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Smokefree Groups salute Ministry of Health

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)and Smokefree Coalition

22nd March 2006

Smokefree Groups salute Ministry of Health’s success in the courts

Smokefree groups in New Zealand are applauding the Ministry of Health on the successful prosecutions of publicans and companies breaching the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990.

It’s a hat-trick for the Ministry of Health, with the most recent successful prosecution being that of Progressive Meats Company, which provided a smoking room for its employees. Progressive Meats joins the illustrious list which includes O’Malley’s Bar in Levin and the Carlton Hotel in Timaru.

Becky Freeman, ASH Director says, “I am very pleased with the outcome of the latest prosecution. The Ministry of Health has provided clear guidelines and anyone who intentionally breaches this law must be prosecuted. No company is above the law.”

Under the Smoke-free Environments Act, employers and management are required to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure no one smokes in an indoor workplace. The Act clearly states that “smoko rooms” are not permitted on worksites.

Mark Peck, Director, Smokefree Coalition says, “Second-hand smoke is a killer, and it’s great to see breaches of the smokefree legislation being taken seriously by the courts.”

Progressive Meats was on Monday found guilty in Hastings District Court of failing to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure no person smoked at any time in the workplace.

ENDS

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