Council last night voted in changes to its smokefree policy aimed at further de-normalising smoking – particularly for children and young people – by reducing its visibility in public spaces, as well as reducing the harm from second-hand smoke.
Key changes to the policy include:
- Main suburban centres are now designated smokefree, with signage rolled out over the next three years
- Vaping and the use of e-cigarettes are now included in the policy and people are asked not to vape in smokefree areas and events
- All bus stops are now designated smokefree
- Te Reo Māori will feature in smokefree signage and messaging.
Divisional Manager Strategy and Planning Wendy Moore says the changes make Lower Hutt’s smokefree policy one of the most comprehensive in New Zealand.
“Overall the number of New Zealanders smoking has declined dramatically but there are communities in Lower Hutt where smoking rates are still very high,” she says.
“It’s not about banishing smokers – it’s about creating places that support people who want to give up smoking and places where children aren’t exposed to smoking and second-hand smoke.”
Areas already designated smokefree include train stations, bus shelters, parks and sports grounds, beaches and outdoor pavement dining areas.