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Western BOP Council wants smoke free beaches

Published: 3:15PM Thursday October 29, 2009 Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE News

  • A normal cigarette (Source: ONE News)
    A normal cigarette - Source: ONE News

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has adopted a policy to discourage smoking in public.

The Council wants popular holiday spots including Waihi, Maketu and Athenree beaches to become smokefree. Other areas included in the policy are public halls, playgrounds, parks, sports fields, skate parks and reserves.

While 23 local bodies in New Zealand already have adopted smokefree policies, the Western Bay District Council is only the third to include beaches under its policy.

Mayor Ross Paterson says it's a strong affirmation by Council to support a smokefree environment and to empower people to ask someone who is smoking to please stop.

He says people who don't smoke are not happy with having to put up with passive smoke but says the move is not a ban.

"This is not a ban - the council has no intention of taking any action against people for smoking in public spaces," he says.

Associate Minister of Health Tania Turia has commended the Council for taking such a proactive stance by establishing smokefree public spaces, saying it is "good community leadership and role modelling".