Manawatu District introduces smoke-free policy in public places

Smoking and vaping in public places are now banned in most of Manawatū, following the council's 2022 no-smoking policy.

After new regulations were approved by the district council, most public places in Manahua now prohibit smoking and vaping.

The Manawatu District Council has approved a 2022 smoke and vape-free policy, aligning with the government's goal of having less than 5% of New Zealanders smoking by 2025.

In 2020, legislation banning smoking in workplaces, schools, restaurants, and many public places was expanded to include electronic cigarettes.

The council's own policy will extend the ban to most public places, parliamentary facilities, and outdoor areas.

In recent years, several public health agencies have been requesting that the Manahua City Council implement a smoke-free policy.

MP Alison Short stated that her parliament is lagging behind in developing policies.

This policy reflects the direction and policies of many other councils across New Zealand.

I am pleased that this policy has been implemented following requests from various public health organizations, including Palmerston North Cancer Society.

MP Shane Casey stated that individuals may see signs of updates.

Parks, conservation areas, and other public areas are now smoke and e-cigarette-free. We have implemented a policy that is consistent with other regions. However, there will be no law enforcement.

Member of Parliament Shane Casey has stated that updated signage will soon be visible in public areas.

MP Shane Casey said that people will soon see updated signs in public places.

The council's policy is education-based rather than enforcement-oriented, similar to policies in most cities and regions.

During a visit to the Fairview Farmers Market, 37-year-old resident Smith Morrison was asked about the new regulations. He stated that the policy aims to improve health and well-being by reducing secondhand smoke exposure and discouraging young people from smoking.

I believe this policy should have been implemented in the region at least three years ago. However, I am pleased that smoking and vaping are both included in the policy, as they are equally harmful.

According to the 2018 census, Manawatu has a smoking rate higher than the national average, with 14% of the population being smokers. Certain demographic groups, such as adult males in rural areas, have a smoking rate as high as 75%.

According to a health survey conducted in 2020/21, the smoking rate in New Zealand is 10.9%. Additionally, 6.2% of the population in New Zealand are daily users of electronic cigarettes (including those without nicotine).

The council has agreed that this policy does not require public consultation as its impact on the public is limited.

According to the Ministry of Health, approximately 5,000 people in New Zealand die each year due to smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.


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