Smokefree policy leads to fresh air zones

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Hastings district councillor Cynthia Bowers.
Hastings district councillor Cynthia Bowers.

The new smokefree policy in Hastings and Napier has the backing of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and Hawke's Bay District Health Board.

The Napier and Hastings councils adopted the policy last year, with the roll-out of signs happening in the first half of this year.

Smokefree is the theme for May for GO Bus advertising. Posters reminding bus users that stops and shelters should be smokefree out to a distance of 10m are also going up.

The policy is non-enforceable and is about encouraging people who wish to smoke to move away from areas the councils have named "fresh air zones", including parks, sports grounds, public entrances to council buildings and footpath eating areas.

Retailers with footpath dining in Napier and Hastings are able to use "fresh air zone" signs and stickers advertising the policy.

Advertising the fresh air zones in different ways such as on the buses would go a long way toward making sure the public was informed of the joint smokefree policy, Napier city councillor Michelle Pyke said.

"This policy is not enforceable but by approaching it in this way, we're encouraging smokers to be mindful of non-smokers in public spaces, particularly around children."

Hastings district councillor Cynthia Bowers said the policy was about ensuring everyone respected each other, as well as "denormalising smoking", particularly for the younger generation.

"We need to make sure that in places people gather, the non-smokers are able to be free from smoke and that our children and teenagers see less of it."

World Smokefree Day is Tuesday, May 31. Both councils adopted the policy last year. It aligns with central government's plan for New Zealand to be smokefree by 2025.

- For more information, visit napier.govt.nz keyword #policies, or hastingsdc.govt.nz/smokefree

- Hawkes Bay Today

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