A campaign to make Wairarapa cafes and restaurants smokefree has not gained much traction with hospitality owners.

Today is World Smokefree Day, with Compass Health setting a challenge to dining establishments to ban smoking from their outdoor dining areas for three weeks.

But as of this morning, only six establishments had taken up the challenge.

The campaign lets cafe and restaurant owners assess the impact of smokefree outdoor dining on their businesses and to gather data by surveying customers.


Compass Health sent letters to Wairarapa cafes and restaurants outlining what it hoped to achieve with the promotion.

The establishments on board include Pukaha Wild Cafe, Iberia in central Masterton, Dish Cafe in Lansdowne, Wild Oats in Carterton and The Village Grinder in Kuripuni.

2 Short Whites are also taking part in the initiative, even though they advocate for a smokefree environment all year round. The Greytown cafe has been smokefree since it was opened last year by sisters Sue Wright and Nicky Brindle.

Mrs Brindle likened smoking to "rolling up a $10 note and lighting it on fire".

She said the cafe's smokefree approach "totally links in with our attitude on being responsible with food and drink".

The cafe does not tolerate smoking in its courtyard, and people who light up are asked to go elsewhere to smoke or to put out their cigarette.

Mrs Brindle said the cafe's zero smoking tolerance has upset a few people in the past, but now most people knew it was a smokefree zone.

"We have this superb outdoor area. Why should it be ruined by smokers? In the summer everyone wants to sit outside. Why should the non-smokers be penalised."

Having once been a smoker, Mrs Brindle said she appreciated smoking was a personal choice.

"But if you're smoking outside you are removing the choice from other people."

She said the Compass Health initiative was a positive move and hoped it would encourage more cafes to be smokefree.

"It's really just making smokers consider and become aware that it has impacts on other people."

Janine Mortensen from Pukaha Wild Cafe said it was "paramount that our outdoor dining is smokefree for the safety of our wildlife".

Iberia manager Zoe Sinclair said that since putting out the Compass Health survey in the restaurant yesterday, everyone who had filled it out had opted for a smoke-free establishment.

The Village Grinder in Kuripuni is making most of its outdoor dining tables smokefree from today.

Owner Sue Ballantyne said her mother died of a smoking-related illness.

"I know how hard it is to stop smoking and by putting these restrictions in place it is encouraging people to give up."

Compass Health's Wairarapa health promoter Kathryn Tomlinson said that after the trial, survey data would be fed back to all Wairarapa's eateries and councils.

All three Wairarapa district councils supported the initiative.

The Times-Age tried to contact restaurant owners who were not signed up, but was unsuccessful.

One cafe, the Clareville Bakery, said they had noted the campaign but had been too busy to take action on it.

Masterton's 10CC already has a smokefree policy.