More smokefree areas in Lower Hutt

You can now breathe easier in Lower Hutt.

On 24 May 2016, Hutt City Council extended the city’s smokefree outdoor areas policy to include parks & sports grounds, train stations, bus shelters, beaches, outdoor dining on pavements, Council run and funded events, and outdoor public areas around council buildings and facilities. Smokefree city precincts are also being explored.

There was strong public support for increasing the smokefree spaces in the city.

A deafening 90% of respondents to the Council’s Citizen’s Panel supported the city becoming increasingly smokefree, and 86% thought smoking should be banned in areas where children are likely to be. 81% were frustrated when people smoked near them when dining outside at cafes and restaurants.

Healthy Families Lower Hutt is being led by Hutt City Council, and were a strong internal advocate for extending the policy. They will also play a key role in leading the policy’s implementation from 1 July 2016.

Healthy Families Lower Hutt Manager Hayley Goodin is excited for what the extended policy will mean for Lower Hutt.

“Our aim is for Lower Hutt to become a city that supports its people to be healthy and well,” said Hayley. “Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand, and we’re really proud of the stand Council has taken against this issue.”

The extended Smokefree Policy aims to help Lower Hutt’s children ‘stop before they start’ by reducing the visibility of smoking, and to reduce the effects of second-hand smoke in public places in their communities.

Hayley said, “This is a great example of implementation at scale and the power of collaborative action to create lasting, widespread change for our city. Lower Hutt now has one of the strongest smokefree policies in the country – a fantastic step forward for Lower Hutt’s contribution to the central Government goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025.”

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace said, “Council is taking a leadership role in the community’s health and wellbeing. This policy is not about persecuting people who smoke. This is a positive approach to continue to influence the culture towards smoking in public places.”

- Kate Kauri, Communications and Engagement Advisor, Healthy Families Lower Hutt

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