A new entry has been added to Drugs Archive
31 May 2008
TV3 News (NZ)
It is Smokefree Day and a number of Hawke's Bay towns have taken up the concept by banning smokers from smoking in all parks, sportsgrounds and play areas throughout the district.
But the new smoke free policy took smokers by surprise and they are not happy about it.
Smokers beware the smoking police are about to tell you to stub it out.
The Hastings District Council has turned all of its public reserves into smoke free zones today.
“I wasn't aware it's smoke free I think it's a good idea though. There's nothing worse than watching a game of rugby and getting smoke blown in your face,” says one park goer.
But Scott Mitchell doesn't think it is a good idea and says the policy wont stop him and others from smoking in public.
“If someone approached me about it.. I'd not get aggressive but I'd certainly say what I wanted to say,” says Mitchell.
“If he's ten foot tall and pretty mean I wouldn't want to go up to him and tell him he can't have a smoke here,” says ex-smoker Rick Carson.
That is where the smoke free policy falls down for the local Council, who won't actually be policing the initiative, instead relying on the public to tell smokers to put it out.
“It could cause some friction? It could, it could but the majority of people are in support of this kind of action,” says Lawrence Yule, Hastings District Mayor.
The Council isn't apologising for targeting smokers saying it is a health issue and the less children see adults smoking the less likely they will smoke too.
Napier City Council is in the process of adopting the smokefree policy too, which will make the entire East Coast area from Wairoa to Waipukurau, New Zealand's first district to ban smoking in public reserves. Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule says it is just the beginning of the end for smokers smoking in public places at all.
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