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Smoke-free law working well

Auckland Regional Public Health Service

26 January 2005

Smoke-free law working well

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service's smoke-free officers say the hospitality industry and Auckland public have embraced the changes to the Smoke-free Environments Act, which banned smoking inside all bars, restaurants and workplaces from 10 December 2004.

Dr Wilson Young, a medical officer of health for the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS), said that many hospitality staff have commented about the positive difference the change in law has made to their work environment.

"Bar managers and staff are keen to tell officers that it is a pleasure to work in a smoke-free atmosphere - they feel healthier, there is less cleaning to do and they worry less about fires and damage caused by cigarettes," said Dr Young.

Dr Young said that smoke-free officers have had a number of complaints about smoking, but when the complaints were investigated, most were a matter of telling bar owners and employers about the changes.

"Auckland licensed premises have done well in implementing the changes to the Smoke-free Environments Act," said Dr Young. "We have been encouraged by the support for the changes to the Smoke-free Environments Act by both licensees and the public."

Hospitality staff have told smoke-free officers that patrons made little or no fuss when asked to smoke outside.

"Staff tell us that 'it just isn't a big deal' for patrons to smoke outside," said Dr Young. "They also said that it was about time they too enjoyed a smoke-free workplace - something that most other workers have had since 1990."


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