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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Palmerston North City Council

New Zealand is moving closer to being smokefree and this World Smokefree Day (May 31) is the perfect time to celebrate Palmy’s smokefree environments and places.

In December Council adopted its Auahi kore smokefree and vapefree policy.

Through this policy, the Council aims to improve the health of the city and contribute to the government’s Smokefree 2025 goal.

The Policy’s aim is for the city to be smokefree and vapefree in city centre streets, parks, playgrounds and sports fields, at public events and at Council-owned and operated facilities.

“While we have no power to enforce the Policy, its purpose is to encourage people to refrain from smoking and vaping,” says David Murphy, Acting General Manager – Strategy and Planning.

“Our previous policy was silent on vaping as it was not an identified issue when the policy was first introduced. However vaping has become more prevalent within the community, and this policy responds to that change.”

Other issues considered through the submission process were rights and freedoms, normalisation – young people imitating, and health and wellbeing.

Palmy’s Smokefree and Vapefree reference group lead the policy’s implementation. It includes representatives from Cancer Society New Zealand Central Districts Division, Midcentral DHB and Council.

“It’s pleasing to note that more New Zealanders are becoming smokefree or not taking up smoking at all. Importantly, fewer young people are starting to smoke with 96% of 15 to 17-year-olds staying smokefree, which is a marked increase from 84% a decade ago[1].”

The number of totally smokefree workplaces is also increasing. Businesses are going over and above the legal requirements and declaring all workspaces – including work vehicles and outdoor areas – to be smokefree, and helping employees access to stop smoking support.

“All this action is creating our city as being a place where being smokefree is normal, whether it’s in public, at work, or home with whānau.”

“On May 31, World Smokefree Day, Council along with the Smokefree and Vapefree reference group encourage everyone to either celebrate being smokefree or encourage those who are not smokefree to embrace the smokefree lifestyle.

[1] Ministry of Health, The New Zealand Health Survey 2016/17.

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MIL OSI