A new study to this week’s Parks Recreation and Heritage Forum recommends the non-regulatory smoke-free legislation initially be confined to council-controlled open places such as parks, reserves, skate parks, playgrounds and sports fields, but reported that over time its main aims would be widened to other public areas and events. Councillors will vote for or against the development of the smoke-free law at the forum it would then be passed on to the Regional Development and Operations Committee.
The study lists the benefits of a new prohibition in town centers, pedestrian malls and streetscapes as denormalising smoking habit, reducing cigarettes butt litter and also decreasing exposure of kids to tobacco smoke.
But it says it may drive smokers to grow in certain places, would be difficult to enforce and may not be supported by the state business community.
Auckland Council has received a range of smoke-free laws from legacy councils. Auckland Regional Council promoted smoke-free parks across the region.
In Manukau and Waitakere skate parks, stadiums, courts and sports fields were smoke-free and there was a prohibition at Northern Busway stations under the North Shore City Council.
Park, recreation and heritage forum chairwoman Sandra Coney reported earlier this year that she believed there was huge public support for a new smoking ban in parks but feedback would be sought before extending the ban to other public areas.
So, if the new policy was to come in to force it would not to be able to be enforced in any way but would be educational campaigns.
This proposal, which counts on pliability through social pressure, is by now used at Mt Smart Stadium, Eden Park and Auckland Zoo.
She declared that the non-regulatory investigation worked well at Mt Smart Stadium and there was no motive it couldn’t be effective elsewhere around the city.