Councillors stub out bus stop smoking ban

A bid to get smoking banned in bus stops has been ridiculed by city councillors.

The policy committee rejected adding bus stops to the list of areas where smoking is banned.

The idea resulted from a letter from MP Trevor Mallard, asking the council to take a look at the issue. Policy analyst Graham Sewell said Mayor Ray Wallace believed the idea had "merit" and wanted councillors to consider it.

Smoking has been banned since 2009 in council playgrounds and swimming pool complexes.

There are 160 bus shelters in the city, which are owned by the regional council.

To enforce the ban, the city council would have had to ask the regional council for support.

Councillors, however, ridiculed the idea and argued it was not worth debating.

Ex smoker Cr Roger Styles said there are bigger issues, including people urinating in bus shelters.

"This is just a ridiculous policy paper."

Cr Ken Laban, who sits on the Hutt Valley District Health Board, was also highly critical.

The proposal was "a token policy" that would not stop people smoking.

The council should instead be looking at working with organisations that encourage young people not to smoke.

Cr Gwen McDonald predicted that no smoking signs on bus stops would be tagged and Cr Styles said they would be used to stub butts out.

Cr Ross Jamieson moved the ban but it failed for want of a seconder.

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