Smokefree CBD idea spreads

Councils across the lower North Island are becoming addicted to the idea of smokefree central cities, with Whanganui the latest to follow in the footsteps of Palmerston North's proposal earlier this year.

The possibility of banning smoking in the Whanganui central business district will be considered at the Wanganui District Council's Community and Environment Committee meeting on August 15.

Councillor Philippa Baker-Hogan said the intention was to prevent young people from taking up the habit and to reduce smoking-related health issues in the community.

"The proposal aims to de-normalise smoking. It suggests that having signage in areas of the CBD and educating people about negative health issues relating to smoking will encourage people to stop.

"It could also prevent potential young smokers from modelling their behaviour on adult smokers and help improve the health and wellbeing in our community," Baker-Hogan said.

She said if the proposal went ahead it would be a logical step in supporting the Government's intention for a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

A ban on smoking in Palmerston North's CBD was first discussed by Palmerston North City Council in April.

A policy of creating clean-air zones around the city was preferred to a ban and eventually endorsed by the community wellbeing committee.

In May, a proposal was put to the Wellington City Council to ban smoking on the "Golden Mile" - from Willis St to Lambton Quay.

Manawatu Standard