Smokers told where to go

Smokers who get up Hamilton residents' noses could soon be told where to go. 

A new smokefree policy for public areas will rely on members of the public acting as smokers’ ‘‘moral conscience’’ by pointing out smokefree signage and asking them not to smoke.

Hamilton city councillors are putting their faith in smokers voluntarily complying, with a smokefree policy for public areas likely for adoption on Thursday.

Council has backed a non-punitive, educational approach to discourage smokers from key public spaces, with council’s only smoker Peter Bos the only dissenter.

His colleagues’ otherwise unanimous support came despite claims from Councillor Dave Macpherson that a policy "lacked teeth" as smokers could simply ignore it.

Staff said the policy would rely on members of the public pointing out  to smokers smokefree signage and asking them not to smoke.

The policy will be considered by the full council on Thursday, and if passed would be effective immediately despite a likely delay until the first 'smokefree' signs go up.

Those would be erected in key spaces first, with councillors pushing for Garden Place, the transport centre and children’s playgrounds during today’s debate.

The policy would be monitored and compliance reported back in six months.


Waikato Times