Smoking ban 'best news ever' - nzherald readers react

By Hayden Donnell

Many say barring smokers from employment at Auckland DHB would be discriminatory. 
Photo / File
Many say barring smokers from employment at Auckland DHB would be discriminatory. Photo / File

A threat to ban smokers from Auckland's streets and exclude them from employment at the city's largest District Health Board has divided nzherald.co.nz readers.

More than 120 people have given their views on Auckland DHB's proposed hardline smoking policy at the nzherald.co.nz facebook page.

Many say banning smokers from the organisation would cut the danger posed by second hand smoke and clean up its image as a health provider.

Others say it is discriminatory, draconian and a breach of smokers' rights.

Genevieve Foreman said: "Smokers can go on all they like about only harming themselves but bottom line is they aren't. Facts are facts, second hand smoking kills. End of story."

Laura Jourdain said the DHB's threat to refuse employment to smokers was the "best news ever".

"Smoking is one of the most harmful things we can do to ourselves and others. This ban is a wonderful step toward defending children, the elderly, and other citizens whose health can be compromised through the inhalation of second hand smoke."

Ruben Bob said the ban would stop a collection of smokers gathering at the hospital gates, "greeting" visitors.

"Outside the Waikato Hospital, it's disgusting, smokers and cigarette butts everywhere.

"To be honest I don't know what all this pussy footing around is about... we should just ban it and get it over and done with, that's what it's heading towards anyway."

But Karla Maree Gray said the proposed policy was anti-choice and would discriminate against smokers like her.

"I do not smoke in my house or in my car as I have kids and it is not their choice when in public I am conscious of others especially those with kids and will stand apart. Smokers are not evil and as such I'm sick of being villianised for my choice."

Rebecca Osborne said: "If the visitors aren't allowed to smoke, the really addicted ones won't go and see dying loved ones."

Jennie Charlotte Boyd said: "Isn't that just another form of discrimination? That's like not hiring you cos you choose to be homosexual in your spare time. And I'm a non smoker!"

Alice-Margaret Allan said the policy would breach smokers' rights.

"I'm a non smoker myself but I think that crosses a line of civil liberties that I don't agree with. There are still people alive whos [sic] Drs encouraged them to smoke in order to deal with certain ailments."

Shane Andrews said the policy was a "stupid idea".

"What happens if that person has the qualifications but you won't hire them cause they smoke but you got someone working for you already that does drugs in their own time."

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