Plea for smoke free towns
An anti-smoking coalition gathered to celebrate World Smokefree Day and a plan for all of Queenstown to quit puffing.
Swimming pools and playgrounds are the only areas where smoking is prohibited in the district.
The Wakatipu and Central Otago smokefree coalition now want councils to extend the policy to cover all public spaces.
During Thursday’s gathering outside Patagonia Ice Creamery and Chocolaterie, in central Queenstown, WellSouth member Jo O’Connor said changing the policy would help achieve the Government’s goal of a smokefree Aotearoa in 2025.
Smokers were ‘‘a very small minority’’, with 84 per cent of New Zealanders being non smokers, she said.
Public dining spaces and beaches were a priority for the coalition.
‘‘We don’t want to have children seeing other people smoking.
‘‘We don’t want our environment littered with butts. People don’t think of butts as litter - they put rubbish in the bin but they stamp on the cigarette butt,’’ Queenstown environmentalist Liz Smith said.
Wakatipu and Central Otago smoke free coalition from left to right: Jo O’Connor, Diana Power, Emily Nelson and Liz Smith near Queenstown’s Patagonia on World Smokefree Day.