Cancer Society Appeals for Smoke Free Environment

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Marilyn Stevens from the Cancer Society appealed to the Kapiti Coast District Council to extend further their smoke free policy. While congratulating them on their current policy she would like to see the New Zealand Smokefree 2025 goal in their long-term plan.

In her submission she stated that data collected in Otaki shows support for an extended policy.

In a survey by the Health Promotion Agency, 73% of those surveyed agreed that smoking should not be allowed in outdoor public places where children are likely to go. Stevens says “ It’s important that we protect our children. One way to know that we have really succeeded is that by 2025, our children won’t even know what smoking is.”

The society had some recommendations for council:

  • KCDC review current signage in playgrounds, parks and sports grounds in regard to number, size and visibility.
  • KCDC develops a Smokefree/Auahi Kore policy for outdoor public areas and Council events, which will cover areas within the current initiative: Outdoor spaces of Council facilities include children’s playgrounds, parks, cemeteries and sports grounds, bus shelters, council-run events, the CBD of Otaki.

They believe extending the policy will achieve the following:

  • Reduce the visibility of smoking and therefore provide positive Smokefree role models for young people.
  • Reduce the number of young people who start smoking.
  • Provide supportive environments for non-smokers and those attempting to quit smoking.
  • Reduce exposure to second-hand smoke for all, thereby protect vulnerable people in our community. For example babies, infants, children, those with asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions.
  • Empower non-smokers to speak up when people smoke in Smokefree areas
  • Reduce the environmental impact of unsightly litter such as cigarette butts and packets as well as the clean-up costs associated with this.
  • Reduce the risk of fire.

 The society further requested $5,000 to pay for smoke free signage.