An Auckland Council committee will today consider banning smoking in public places.

The smoke-free policy would cover council controlled areas such as parks, playgrounds, sports fields and pedestrian malls.

Parks Recreation and Heritage Forum Chairwoman Sandra Coney said it will not be regulated but instead rely on signs, education and social pressure.

"We can see from experience in other parts in New Zealand that that kind of policy approach is quite effective and obviously it doesn't cost us as much as going around penalising people.''

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Ms Coney said it may take up to a year before the policy is implemented if it gets the support of the council.

End Smoking New Zealand chairperson Dr Murray Laugesen told Radio New Zealand smoking is becoming less socially acceptable, and the proposal will have some effect on the number of smokers in the country.

"Informally, in social situations people know now that they have to go outside to smoke, or else go out on the balcony to smoke - these are informal social requirements and they are very powerful.

"There may be a few people who object, but that is the way things are going."