New Law Will Encourage Smokers To Quit
MP for Rotorua
Chair, Health Select Committee
10 December 04
New law will encourage smokers to quit
Protecting the lungs and the future health of New Zealanders is the goal of the new smoke free law, which comes into force today.
The MP who headed the Select Committee process says smokers and non-smokers alike support the measures put in place by the Smoke Free Amendment Act, which was passed by Parliament this time last year.
"People who're desperate for a nicotine hit can still pop outside for a quick ciggie before rejoining their friends," said Health Select Committee chair Steve Chadwick MP when she met reporters today at the Rotorua Citizens Club.
"What's more, thousands of New Zealanders who work in the hospitality industry will now have a healthier, safer working environment."
"The new act really just codifies what is now generally accepted: nobody has the right to force others to breathe tobacco smoke.
Steve Chadwick says the industry has had plenty of time to get ready for the new law, which is more about the right to breathe clean air, than about enforcement or policing.
"There's been a lot of hard work done to put appropriate measures in place. Most people are responsible and abide by the law; I'm confident that the vast majority of employers and the public will respect this change."
The MP says she would like to see more work done on helping New Zealanders to quit smoking.
"Everyone who decides to quit as a result of the law change deserves support, and I'd like to see them well supported"
Mrs Chadwick says the new regime brings New Zealand into line with a developing international norm.
"More and more countries are adopting similar legislation. We have a reputation for progressive policy and we're ahead with countries such as Ireland and Norway who have similar laws.