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Smokefree signs go up at bus passenger shelters

Smokefree signs go up at bus passenger shelters

Christchurch City Council is installing smokefree signs at bus passenger shelters over the next few months, starting today.

The Council, in July, decided to extend its Smokefree Public Places Policy to include bus passenger shelters. Previously it focused on public open spaces such as parks, playgrounds and events.

"By changing the policy, the Council signalled its commitment to the Government's Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal," Transport and City Street Acting Unit Manager Paul Burden says.

The policy is voluntary so will not be enforced by the Council. However, Mr Burden says if people feel confident to do so, they could politely ask smokers to step outside the shelter or stub out their cigarettes.

Even though bus passenger shelters are semi-open structures, there have been complaints from waiting bus passengers, people passing by and retailers about cigarette smoke and litter.

"About 5000 people die each year in New Zealand because of smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. Adults can be smokefree role models for children so that is why we want our bus passenger shelters to be smokefree," he says.

Smokefree Canterbury has contributed to the provision of signs.

The policy change also includes entrances and exits to Council-owned buildings such as the Civic Office in Hereford Street, service centres, local board offices, libraries, community facilities, community halls, museums, leisure centres, recreational centres and arts centres.

Smokefree signs will gradually be installed at these buildings. The policy is effective from January 2016 but it is hoped people will stop smoking in these areas from now.

ENDS

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