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Greens Welcome A Breath Of Fresh Air

Greens Welcome A Breath Of Fresh Air

Green MP Sue Kedgley is predicting the passing later today of the Smokefree Environments Amendment Bill will lead to a regeneration of New Zealand's café, bar and restaurant scene.

"This a fantastic victory for all New Zealanders who are in the least bit concerned with their health and their comfort," said Ms Kedgley, the Green Party's Health spokesperson.

"As customers revel in the new, clean indoor environment of the pub and the café I predict there will be a renaissance, not a collapse, in the hospitality industry. Both New York and California have recently introduced similar legislation which is being enthusiastically supported by local residents.

"I believe that New Zealand's cafés, bars and restaurants will enjoy a new life, after we've cleared the air."

Ms Kedgley predicted that New Zealanders would look back in a few years and wonder how we ever allowed the very air we breath to be polluted with a toxic waste containing 50 known carcinogens.

"The Smokefree Bill will be a life-saver for workers in the hospitality industry, too," said Ms Kedgley. "An estimated 388 people die in New Zealand every year from passive smoking, and 145 of those deaths are linked to exposure in the workplace

"One issue that has been largely ignored in the debate is the fact that OSH has identified second hand smoke as a work place hazard, which, under the new Health and Safety Act, employers now have a legal obligation to remove."

The Green Party successfully moved two amendments to the legislation. The first removes penalties from individual smokers who fail to observe the ban. The second amendment prevents the sale of toy tobacco products to under 18-year-olds, including toy cigarettes but excluding confectionary and devices to assist people to stop smoking


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