Plea for smoke free towns

Central Otago Mirror - - OUT & ABOUT -

DASHA KUPRIENKO

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.

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