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Cancer Society Pushes For Total Smoking Ban

MEDIA RELEASE
Friday 12 October

Cancer Society Pushes For Total Smoking Ban

Smoking must be banned in all hospitality venues if workers’ health is to be protected, the Cancer Society said today. The comments followed the introduction into Parliament of legislation proposing a partial ban on smoking in cafes, bars, restaurants and casinos.

“Giving venues the option of allowing smoking in 50 percent of their public area will do very little to protect bar workers from the effects of second-hand smoke,” said Cancer Society Health Promotion Programme Manager Liz Price.

“Smoking rooms would be ventilated – but there is no ventilation system available that can remove tobacco smoke to the point where it is no longer a health risk.”

Ms Price said that around 400 New Zealanders died every year from lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes because of exposure to second-hand smoke. About 150 of these were exposed to second-hand smoke in their workplace.

“It is not acceptable for people to be expected to risk their health at work. Not everyone is in a position where they can simply find another job – and anyway, why should they have to?”

She said that only 25 percent of people smoked, and it was not unreasonable to ask them to step outside a restaurant or bar when they were having a cigarette.

“That way those who want to continue to smoke can do so, while non-smokers don’t have to breathe in the mixture of toxic chemicals that makes up second-hand smoke.”

Ms Price said that allowing some smoking in venues also continued to make smoking seem like a ‘normal’ activity.

“This normalisation of smoking is thought to be one of the reasons why so many young people start to smoke. Smokefree bars and restaurants would send a clear message that smokefree environments are the way of the future.”

ENDS


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