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Auckland Plan includes Smokefree by 2025

Auckland Plan includes Smokefree by 2025

Cancer Society Auckland commends Auckland Council on the inclusion of Smokefree into the newly released Auckland Plan.

The Auckland Plan includes a clear Smokefree goal of reducing smoking rates to less than 3% by 2025. The Plan states that ‘by 2025 all parks, reserves, children’s play areas and other public spaces will be Smokefree’, and is in-line with the Government’s goal of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

Cancer Society Auckland’s Chief Executive John Loof says “We welcome Auckland Council taking a leadership role on Smokefree. Smoking kills 1700 Aucklanders every year. By adopting a Smokefree Auckland we will reduce tobacco related deaths and stop our children from starting to smoke”.

“Research shows that when children grow up surrounded by adults who smoke they are much more likely to start. The average age we start to smoke in New Zealand is 14 years and 11 years for Māori. Once started, it is very difficult to quit. By reducing the places that children are exposed to smoking and creating non-smoking environments, we can stop our children from starting”.

There is significant public support for a Smokefree Auckland. Twelve of the 21 Local Boards identified Smokefree as a priority for their communities and a recent NZ Herald poll showed that 74% of over 19,000 respondents were favourable of a Smokefree Auckland.

“Now that this clear goal has been set, the Auckland Council must act to implement consistent Smokefree policies across Auckland. Every year we don’t take action, more children start smoking, and more people are dying of tobacco related illnesses.”

“We look forward to working with Auckland Council to meet the Smokefree goals of the Auckland Plan, and welcome these positive steps towards a future with less cancer”.

The Auckland Plan has three Smokefree targets:

1) Chapter One, Auckland’s people, targets: ‘By 2025 all parks and reserves, children’s play areas and other public spaces identified in bylaws will be Smokefree.”

2) Directive 1.6 263 “Despite progress in reducing tobacco harm, smoking remains New Zealand’s biggest cause of preventable death. Reducing the number of smokers in Auckland will deliver major health, social and economic benefits. International examples, such as proposed stronger legislation for New South Wales, Australia, aims to ban smoking in public places such as playgrounds, public sports grounds, swimming pools, public transport stops and entrances to public buildings in a phased manner over time. Auckland Council will work together with central government, NGO’s and community groups to investigate a similar approach for Auckland.”

3) Southern Initiative, health and safety: “By 2025 the level of residents 15 years and over that smoke will fall below 3%.”

For further information please visit www.cancersocietyauckland.org.nz

About the Cancer Society Auckland

The Cancer Society is an independent non-government organisation dedicated to reducing the incidence and impact of cancer in the community through support, information, research and health promotion. 1 in 3 New Zealanders will be affected by cancer. Each year approximately 22,000 people are diagnosed with cancer and around 8,000 die as a result of cancer.

ENDS

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