Making Whangarei’s bus shelters smoke free is already paying off according to a recent survey.
29/09/2014 9:50 a.m.
A study comparing rates of smoking at Whangarei bus shelters before and after they went smokefree on 1 May shows a 15% drop in smoking at the Rose Street bus terminal.
Prior to Council bringing in the policy, non-smokers had reported finding it uncomfortable and un-healthy to be around smokers, and to walk through a group of smokers while waiting for public transport in confined spaces.
When asked, 72% of the Rose Street bus terminal users agreed that people should not be able to smoke in Whangarei’s bus shelters. Most Whangarei bus drivers also believed that smoking in Whangarei Bus Shelters set a poor example to children.
“We don’t want to make people feel bad about smoking, we want them to feel proud about NOT smoking,” says Mayor Sheryl Mai.
“The smokefree policy is 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.”
“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.”
Whangarei District Council has a smokefree outdoor policy at its 21 playgrounds and 24 sports grounds and all 48 neighbourhood parks.
Other key city spaces such as the Aquatic Centre, Te Manawa The Hub Information Centre, the i-site and Café in the Park at Tarewa Park, Quarry Garden, Central City Car Park, the Canopy Bridge and the Library courtyard are also smokefree.