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New Zealanders want more smokefree air

A survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health has shown that most New

Zealanders want to breathe air free of tobacco smoke.

Smokefree schools, workplace cafeterias, shopping centres and restaurants

were strongly supported by the majority of those who took part in the

National Research Bureau survey. There was strong support for the existing

ban on smoking in the workplace.

“This survey clearly shows that most people expect to breathe safe,

smokefree air,” said Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tuariki Delamere.

“Over two-thirds of those surveyed found tobacco smoke bothersome - an

indication that it is time the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 was

overhauled, and the existing restrictions on smoking strengthened."

He said that Te Tai Hauauru MP, Tukoroirangi Morgan’s Member’s Bill,

which has been carried over to the next Parliament, proposes greater

protection for non-smokers in workplaces, schools, and certain other public


The survey showed that smokefree bars had considerable support, with 51

percent of those surveyed supporting no smoking in bars or smoking only in

separate rooms. A further 28 percent supported having 50 percent of the floor

area in bars smokefree.

Mr Delamere said that smokefree restaurants and bars had been introduced

very successfully in parts of the United States.

“Contrary to the concerns of restaurant and bar owners in the States,

profits have remained the same, or increased, in venues which have become


"In New Zealand, 75 percent of the population don’t smoke - there is a

tremendous opportunity here for restaurant and bar owners to increase their


“I believe that it is only a matter of time before smokefree restaurants

and bars become a reality here.”

The majority of those surveyed did not support smoking in housie halls or

sporting clubs, while 50 percent considered that smoking should be permitted

in night clubs and 55 percent thought smoking should be allowed in open

sports stadiums.

Summary of results

(Where the figures are less than 100 percent, the balance are ‘don’t


· 72% of people found tobacco smoke bothersome to some degree, 21% found tobacco smoke neither enjoyable or bothersome and 7% claimed some enjoyment from tobacco smoke.

· 7% agreed, and 91% disagreed, with the suggestion that people should be able to smoke wherever they like at work.. 59% agreed with the proposition that all workplaces should be entirely smokefree while 36% disagreed.

· 87% agreed that the only place smoking should be allowed at work is in designated, ventilated rooms or areas, 11% disagreed.

· 78% agreed that workplace cafeterias should be entirely smokefree, 18% disagreed.

· 29% supported no smoking at all in schools, 36% thought smoking should be allowed, but only in designated areas and outside school hours. Another 29% would permit smoking in designated areas during school areas, 5% supported smoking anywhere in schools outside school hours and the remaining 1% would permit smoking in schools at all times.

· 79% of people supported stronger controls on smoking in bars, with 51% supporting no smoking at all or smoking only in separate rooms in bars. An additional 28% supported having 50% of the floor area in bars smokefree. 19% believed that there should be no restriction on smoking in bars.

· 74% supported no smoking at all or smoking only in separate rooms in restaurants, cafes or foodhalls, 23% supported having 50% of the floor area smokefree in these venues. Only 3% of respondents desired no restrictions on smoking in these venues.

· 13% thought smoking should be allowed in enclosed shopping centres, 19% in housie halls, 55% in open sports stadiums, 32% in sporting clubs and 50% in night clubs.


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