More cafes and restaurants in Marlborough sick of second-hand smoke from smoking areas wafting around customers are going completely smokefree.
Smoking indoors is not allowed in any cafe in the country, but French Essence, Gramado's, Raupo and Brancott Estate have banned smoking outside their premises as well.
It follows a drive by Marlborough Cancer Society to create more smokefree spaces.
French Essence owner Sarah Anderson said the blanket ban was a no brainer.
They no longer allowed customers to smoke in the courtyard which is adjacent to a children's play area.
She had personally seen the damage caused by smoking. Anderson's grandfather died of lung cancer and her husband's family had been hit by cancer.
"I feel proud of the fact we have a smoke-free environment. Our motivation was having young children and we wanted a family friendly environment."
Some disgruntled customers had tried to break the ban but Anderson said there was zero tolerance.
"We have had a bit of resistance but it has all been for the greater good."
Gramado's Restaurant and Bar owner Saulo Camillo Nunes said they went smokefree three months ago. "At our entrance customers used to smoke. Patrons were walking through a cloud of smoke. You could see from their faces they were quite put off. Some held their breath as they walked past the smoke."
Smokers were no longer allowed to light up outside the restaurant and had to move further down the footpath for a cigarette.
He had removed ashtrays from outdoor tables and erected "no smoking" signs. Some angered customers had been verbally abusive. "They think they have the right to smoke wherever they want."
The only downside was cleaning up cigarette butts on the footpath outside the restaurant - up to 60 butts on busy nights, he said.
"At the start we were afraid it would be hard on the business but on the whole customers like a smokefree environment."
Marlborough Smokefree Coalition health promoter Cynthia de Joux said there was starting to be a groundswell of support for smokefree spaces, helped by a generational shift in attitudes.
- The Marlborough Express
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