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NZMA applauds smokefree legislation

9 December, 2004

NZMA applauds smokefree legislation

The New Zealand Medical Association welcomes the implementation of the Smokefree Environments Amendment Act, and believes the measures will quickly become accepted by New Zealanders.

“Similar smokefree legislation, adopted in Ireland in March, has not spelt the end of traditional Irish pubs, as the doom and gloom merchants predicted,” said NZMA Chairman Dr Tricia Briscoe. “In fact, in Ireland many have been surprised at how quickly the Irish people have adapted to the change.

“Cigarette sales in Ireland have also dropped significantly since the introduction of the ban on smoking in the workplace, which is good news for the health of the Irish people.” Dr Briscoe said the smokefree legislation will have positive effects on the health of future generations of New Zealanders, as it will help reduce smoking and reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.

“The 75 percent of New Zealanders who do not smoke have the right to a smokefree environment, and we congratulate the Government for passing this legislation in the face of significant opposition.

“Society has moved on, and it is no longer acceptable to smoke tobacco around others in public places. Hospitality workers are also entitled to smokefree working conditions.

“This legislation will help smokers to give up, and will help them to stay smokefree by providing social environments that don’t encourage them to smoke.

“It is important that the smoke-free lifestyle is promoted as the norm, and that appropriate public health campaigns are carried out to further reduce the level of smoking.”

ENDS

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