Shauni James is a Rotorua Daily Post reporter

Rotorua smokefree areas up for discussion (+video)

A fully smokefree Eat Streat restaurant is encouraging the council to consider banning smoking in outdoor dining areas.

The comments follow a decision by Hutt City Council to extend its smokefree policy to more outdoor public areas, including dining on pavements. Today is also World Smokefree Day, with the Government expected to announce legislation for plain packaging for cigarettes.

Atticus Finch co-owner Cherry Te Kiri said her restaurant was proud to be completely smokefree.

"We believe smoking and dining don't mix."

She said diners could go down the road or into the street if they wanted to smoke.

"I think they [the council] should consider it (a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas on pavements)."

FILE
FILE


Council Strategy and Partnerships Group manager Jean-Paul Gaston said its current smokefree policy was contained within the Activities on Open Public Places Policy, which introduced smokefree outdoor spaces to areas such as council-owned playgrounds, child care centres, and public toilets.

Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service Dr Jim Miller said as part of a broader Lakes Smokefree Coalition they were working with council staff to consider extending that policy to other areas.

These areas included bus stops, sports fields, alfresco dining areas and council events.

"Smokefree outdoor dining areas help protect staff and the public from exposure to second hand smoke, denormalise smoking which can reduce uptake by children, and supports those who've quit to remain smokefree."

An earlier evaluation report found the Rotorua public were supporting and complying with the policy, he said.

Mr Gaston said the Smokefree Coalition did approach the council last year to suggest expanding the smokefree outdoor spaces.

"Once we have concluded those discussions, we would need to bring this policy back to the council for councillors to consider whether there are any changes made."

Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar co-owner Tamati Coffey said some restaurants on Eat Streat were already smokefree in their outdoor areas.

"I believe in giving us, as businesses, the choice and letting our patrons vote with their feet."

Craft Bar and Kitchen general manager Luke Van Veen said the restaurant was smokefree, which customers enjoyed.

"What we've noticed with the industry is a lot more people enjoying dining in a smokefree environment."

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