Making the Golden Mile smokefree could help grow businesses by making the city centre a nicer place to be.
A new survey has found Wellington businesses are unfazed at the thought smoking being banned in the city centre.
Of the 198 business owners and managers spoken to along the stretch from Lambton Quay to Courtenay Place, 83 per cent thought it would have either a positive or negligible impact on business, Public health researchers from University of Otago, Wellington, found.
However businesses selling food - particularly with outdoor seating - were most likely to think there would be a negative impact.
Study co-author, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, said the survey was carried out in light of increasing moves towards smokefree city streets and shopping areas in the United States and Australia.
The lack of concern from the majority of businesses showed that many could consider it a positive step if the city streets became smokefree, he said.
''It could even be the case that by making the centre city more attractive, smokefree streets could increase business activity.''
The survey results come after Wellington City Council's strategy and policy committee last week approved a move to make all city playgrounds, sports fields and skate parks smokefree.
The ban will see signs erected in playgrounds and parks, but no fines for people who flout the rule.
But while councillors voted unanimously to ban smoking in parks, they voted down a motion by councillor Stephanie Cook calling for council staff to investigate further smokefree areas, including the Golden Mile and al fresco dining.
Dr Wilson sais such smokefree policy decisions were helpful towards denormalising smoking and preparing New Zealand for the Government's goal of a smokefree nation by 2025.
''These moves may also help ratepayers by reducing city cleaning costs. It would also reduce pollution of Wellington Harbour from cigarette butts washing into the sea through the storm water system.'
- © Fairfax NZ News
Family counts blessings after superbug scare (graphic content)