18 October 2017:
Beaches and al fresco dining areas are among locations soon to be designated smoke-free in Auckland.
In a move welcomed by the Cancer Society, Auckland Council has strengthened its smokefree policy, with the changes to come into effect from November.
The update includes labelling urban areas, public beaches and outdoor dining on footpaths as smokefree.
There will also be smokefree conditions in council leases, funding agreements and events.
Cancer Society Auckland Northland chief executive John Loof says the move means significant and meaningful progress for the city.
He says the council has listened to people who wanted outdoor dining without the tobacco smoke.
“The immediate benefit will be to clear the air and make these places more pleasant, cleaner and safer for diners, families and hospitality staff,” he said.
The council’s policy outlines its role towards making the city smokefree by 2025 and identifies areas that are, or are planned to be, designated as smokefree.
The council says the policy doesn’t ban smoking, but encourages people through education and awareness to refrain at events and in certain public places.
It says that, because of national legislation, if there was a smoke-free by-law, the council wouldn’t be able to issue a fine for non-compliance and that means other enforcement options are limited.