Smokers will now be prevented from smoking while drinking or eating outside at a bar or restaurant in Auckland.
The move, which is part of Auckland Council’s smoke free policy, applies to all hospitality venues that use council-licensed areas for al fresco dining and drinking. Around 800 venues are affected.
As café, restaurant and bar licences are renewed, Council is requiring them to be totally smoke free.
The new policy became effective from September 1 for all outlets that had renewed their licences for operating on council areas such as footpaths.
An Auckland Council spokesperson says most of the 800 outlets affected have now renewed, with the new policy in place.
Council’s Environment and Community Committee chair, Penny Hulse, says the change is part of a commitment to be a healthier smoke free city by 2025.
She says smokefree al fresco dining areas will benefit the health of serving staff and smokers trying to quit, as well as providing a healthy and clean environment for customers.
“This is a proactive and tangible way for the council to endorse the smokefree message and denormalise smoking in our public spaces,” she says.
The Cancer Society Auckland Northland’s health promotion manager, Kristina Marckean, applauds the move and says the council is acting in the interests of the health and wellbeing of all Aucklanders.
Local business association Destination Orewa Beach agrees. Operations manager Hellen Wilkens says the new policy will assist with a cleaner environment for all and a more pleasurable dining experience for non-smokers.
“This move also supports a multitude of environmentally friendly values which are going from strength to strength across the country,” she says. “We believe there will be a strong continual take up of this in Orewa, especially with its growing al-fresco dining culture.”