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Council smoke-free policy earns excellence award

Council smoke-free policy earns excellence award

Christchurch City Council's recent recognition at the Canterbury Health in All Policies (CHIAP) Excellence Awards shows the significant progress being made towards smoke-free social housing, says Councillor Andrew Turner.

The Council's smoke-free policy was one of 18 nominations received for the Excellence Award, which was celebrated at a ceremony held in Christchurch last week.

The award recognises excellence in collaboration between the CHIAP partners, including the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), Environment Canterbury, Ngāi Tahu and Christchurch City Council.

"As a responsible landlord, the Council is committed to providing healthy homes for tenants," says Councillor Turner.

"Receiving the CHIAP Excellence Award speaks to this commitment, as well as the significant progress made since the smoke-free policy was adopted just last year.

"To date, more than 400 tenants have committed to not smoking inside their units, and Council staff continue to work closely with health providers such as the CDHB and Smokefree Canterbury to support tenants who wish to become smoke-free."

The Council's policy specifies that, where new social housing units are built or purchased – or where units are remodelled or redecorated – tenancy agreements contain a non-smoking clause.

Smoking is only be permitted on external porches, with appropriate windows and doors closed to prevent cigarette smoke from entering the unit.

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Existing tenants who currently smoke inside their units can continue to smoke indoors. However, subsequent tenancies are subject to the non-smoking clause.

Bob Hardie, Team Leader for the Council's Housing Operations, says a number of Tenancy Advisors have completed training to become qualified Smokefree "Quit Card" providers.

"If a tenant wants to stop smoking, they can get support from their Tenancy Advisor and also redeem special Quit Cards at any pharmacy for free nicotine-replacement products, such as patches and chewing gum," he says.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for tenants to access advice and information about becoming smoke-free."

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