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O’Connor accepts advice on Smoke-Free Environments

17 September 2003
Media Statement

O’Connor accepts Public Health Advisory Committee advice on Smoke-Free Environments Bill


Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor says he accepts Public Health Advisory Committee advice that there is no international evidence to show that ventilation systems can reduce exposure to second-hand smoke to a safe level.

“I also accept the committee’s view that recent New Zealand research, supporting the efficacy of ventilation systems, suffers from critical flaws and doesn’t constitute valid evidence,” Mr O’Connor says.

The PHAC provided Mr O’Connor with the advice in response to a Supplementary Order Paper that would exempt hospitality venues from a ban under the Bill if they met a specified clean air standard.

“The PHAC believes the measures proposed in the SOP will not adequately protect hospitality staff and patrons from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke,” Mr O’Connor says.

“It is also important to note that PHAC believes there is no acceptable air quality health standard for exposure to SHS, and developing and monitoring such a standard would be a highly complex process involving significant time and expense for regulators and for hospitality venues.

“In contrast, requiring venues to be smoke-free is a simple and low-cost approach that ensures second-hand smoke does not impact on the health of staff and patrons.”

ENDS

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