The Heart Foun­da­tion com­mends Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil on its new smoke­free rules for outdoor din­ing on Coun­cil foot­paths.

Smok­ing is the largest pre­ventable risk fac­tor for heart disease, which is why the Heart Foun­da­tion is pas­sion­ate about re­duc­ing smok­ing rates and pre­vent­ing up­take. Ex­po­sure to sec­ond-hand smoke can in­crease a per­son’s risk of coro­nary heart disease, and even small ex­po­sures to tobacco smoke can trig­ger acute car­diac events.

Smoke­free outdoor din­ing ar­eas is a proven way to re­duce the num­ber of young peo­ple who start smok­ing. It also pro­vides a sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment for those at­tempt­ing to quit, and en­cour­ages oth­ers to quit. It also pro­tects din­ers and hos­pi­tal­ity work­ers from toxic lev­els of sec­ond hand smoke.

And while some busi­nesses might be con­cerned about the im­pact of smoke­free din­ing, re­search shows that such a pol­icy poses no risk to their rev­enue and, in some cases, has even im­proved it. We hope this is strongly sup­ported by the pub­lic. Well done again to Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil for tak­ing a proac­tive ap­proach to caring for the com­mu­nity.

Sally Dar­ragh Heart Foun­da­tion

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