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Greens support smoking ban

Greens support smoking ban

Passive smokers can breathe a sigh of relief following the announcement today of a proposed total ban on smoking in pubs, restaurants and all other work places, Green MP Sue Kedgley said today.

"This is a wonderful day for public health," the Green Health Spokesperson said. "Non-smokers will at last be able to breathe fresh air when they go out for a meal or drink, and wherever they work. This proposed legislation will literally save lives."

The health select committee, which Ms Kedgley deputy chairs, today reported back to Parliament on the Smoke-Free Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill. The committee recommends that smoking be completely banned in pubs, bars, restaurants, offices and all other work places.

In response to hospitality industry fears that business would suffer as a result of the ban, Ms Kedgley said she was confident that cleaning up the atmosphere in bars would attract more, not less, customers.

"Pubs, bars and restaurants should be catering for the 75 per cent of New Zealanders who don't smoke."

While acknowledging smokers had a right to smoke, Ms Kedgley said it was no longer acceptable for them to endanger non-smokers' health.

"It is a basic human right to breathe clean air. Second-hand tobacco smoke is a toxic waste that contains more than 50 chemicals known to cause cancer."

Ms Kedgley said she expected the bill would pass easily through the House, coming into effect next year.

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