Invercargill one step closer to smokefree CBD
The Invercargill City Council has appealed to the public to submit on plans for a new smokefree policy for the city.
The draft plan was approved by council last week, and is open to public submissions until September 15.
In the report on the draft, it was stated the smokefree zone will encompass the current Invercargill CBD, as defined in the council's District Plan.
This would stretch north to south from Gala St to Tyne St, and east to west from Doon St to Leven St.
While speaking on the report at the meeting, Cr Darren Ludlow said the draft gave the council more flexibility in decision making.
"In terms of definitions, we're using the district plan's definition of the CBD, which is quite a lot larger than what we had initially looked at.
"We started out looking at Esk St, and there was the thought we could push out a bit further.
"So while it's a larger area in the first instance, if the public so feel we can scale that down ... it's really the time now to hear what the public have to say."
As well as prohibiting smoking, the draft also excludes the possibility of smoking zones, or the use of vaping or e-cigarettes within the smokefree areas.
Ludlow said setting up smoking zones would send a mixed message.
"It hasn't been included in the policy because it runs counter to what we have suggested here.
"It's a policy, so we're not going to go up - if it is adopted - and go out and write infringement notices.
"We will give people the opportunity to point out that this is a smokefree area and it's not acceptable in here, and force change socially that way."
Ludlow said vaping and e-cigarettes had also been decided against for similar reasons.
"It's about how we're modelling this.
"While with [vaping and e-cigarettes] there isn't necessarily any nicotine involved, it's still about what it looks like to a young person.
"Does a toddler understand there is a difference between and e-cigarette, or someone vaping or smoking a cigarette?"
According to the report, there would be scope to include other areas outside of the CBD over time if necessary.
The policy was drafted to line up with Central Government's Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal, and also took on board consultation from Public Health South, the Cancer Society, and the Invercargill City Youth Council's request for a smokefree Esk St.