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Bus shelters go smokefree

 
Signs have started to go up in Whangarei’s bus shelters promoting Whangarei District Council's Smokefree policy for bus shelters.
Updated: 28/04/2014 3:00 p.m.

​Smoking in covered areas such as bus shelters is an increasing source of public complaint. Non-smokers find it uncomfortable and unhealthy to walk through a group of smokers or be among smokers while waiting for public transport in confined spaces.

Smoking affects air quality in outdoor areas and a recent study showed that smoking on city footpaths increases the amount of dangerous fine particles in city air by 70%.

“It’s a sign of things to come, more public spaces will become smokefree as we move towards a smokefree New Zealand by 2025. I would love to see Whangarei become the first Smokefree District in the country,” said Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai.

The move stemmed from a submission to Council last year from Northland District Health Board and the Cancer Society Northland. This move is supported by the Northland Regional Council, which runs the District’s bus service.

There is a high level of support for smokefree bus shelters. According to a recent survey, 72% of Whangarei bus users agreed that people should not be able to smoke in bus shelters and 60% of Whangarei bus drivers believe that smoking in Whangarei bus shelters is a poor example to children.

Mayor Mai says, “It’s about reducing exposure to second hand smoke, reducing the environmental impact of unsightly litter such as cigarette butts and packets and providing supportive environments for non-smokers and for those attempting to quit smoking.”

“We don’t want to make people feel bad about smoking, we want them to feel proud about not smoking,” says Mayor Mai.

Hamilton City Council and Auckland City Council have also introduced Smokefree policies for their Transport Hubs.

All of Whangarei District Council’s parks, playgrounds and sports grounds are Smokefree. As well as other key public spaces such as the Aquatic Centre, Te Manawa The Hub Information Centre, the i-site and Café in the Park at Tarewa Park, the Central City Car Park, the Canopy Bridge, the Library courtyard and the Quarry Gardens.

Far North and Kaipara District Councils have also introduced Smokefree policies for their parks, playgrounds and sports grounds.

To get help to stop smoking, talk to your local health provider, Aukati Kai Paipa quit coach call

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