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Stepping closer to a smokefree Auckland

Published: 13 July 2017

Auckland’s Smokefree Policy is being updated to focus on Auckland Council's commitment to a healthier smokefree city.

An updated version of Auckland Council’s 2013 Smokefree Policy will be presented to the Environment and Community Committee in August 2017.

More public places to go smokefree

“The goal of our Smokefree Policy is to improve the health and wellbeing of communities by promoting smokefree outdoor public spaces and activities. This aligns with central government’s goal of becoming a smokefree nation by 2025," says Mike Sinclair, the council’s Manager Social Policy and Bylaws.

“Our Smokefree Policy doesn’t ban smoking or aim to punish smokers – we’re using an educational and awareness raising approach to promote healthy lifestyle choices. By creating smokefree public places, social pressure will encourage people to comply. We want everyone to enjoy Auckland’s public spaces, and asking people to refrain from smoking in these spaces is a key part of that.”

Smokefree bylaw may follow 

The council is also exploring the possibility of creating a smokefree bylaw. Council staff will present advice on this to the council’s Regulatory Committee in September 2017.

A bylaw could complement the council’s existing Smokefree Policy. However, before deciding to consult with the public on a potential smokefree bylaw, the council will need to consider the different enforcement options available.

“Under current national legislation the council would not have the ability to issue infringement fines for breaches of a smokefree bylaw,” says Mike.

About the council's Smokefree Policy

The council’s 2013 Smokefree Policy phased in smokefree public places including all parks and reserves, stadiums, train stations and platforms, bus stations and shelters, ferry terminals, sports fields and community facilities.

Introducing smokefree plazas, civic squares, shared spaces will be a focus in the implementation plan, and from 2018, al fresco dining areas, public beaches and urban centres will also be smokefree. A full list of smokefree public spaces is available on the Auckland Council website.