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Bunkle addresses ASH annual general meeting

28 August 2000 Media Statement

Bunkle addresses ASH annual general meeting

Consumer Affairs Minister Phillida Bunkle today commended the efforts of ASH in helping to change New Zealanders' attitudes about smoking.

Phillida Bunkle, who is the Alliance health spokeswoman and a founding member of ASH, told the ASH annual general meeting in Auckland tonight, that its initiatives had significantly helped to change social attitudes about cigarette smoking.

"Changing these attitudes has been hard work, but work well rewarded through the greater understanding of the risks associated with smoking.

"Even though smoking has clearly been identified as harmful we still need groups like yours to be ever vigilant . . . ."

Ms Bunkle told the group she supported her colleague, Health Minister Hon Annette King, in a preference for completely smoke-free bars and cafes.

"But we may need to look at a workable and effective compromise. . . I believe that a workable compromise could be formed around a smoke-free rule for 50 percent of a public space – including the bar areas where workers spend most of their time.

"The health and safety of bar workers must, I believe, be considered as part of any enhanced protection legislation."

Ms Bunkle said the issues would continue to be debated as parliament worked its way through the Smoke-Free Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill.

Ms Bunkle said that as a consumer advocate, she appreciated the value of work ASH had put into advocating tougher attitudes towards smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke.


ENDS

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