NZ’s smoke free stops


New Zealand leads the way with bold step to actively discourage smoking at bus shelters

NZ’s smoke free stops
Christchurch city councillor Phil Clearwater with the smokefree stickers to be installed at all Christchurch bus shelters

No smoking signage will go up on bus shelters now the council has extended its smoke free public places policy in Christchurch.

The decision to extend the existing smoke free public places policy to include bus shelters came in July, a move Christchurch City Council transport and city street acting unit manager Paul Burden thinks is a positive step.

"By changing the policy, the council signalled its commitment to the government’s smoke free Aotearoa 2025 goal," he says.

Although bus shelters are semi-open structures, there have been complaints made to council by bus passengers and retailers about cigarette smoke, which has prompted the change.

The signage has already gone up at some stops and the remaining stops will be canvassed over the next few months, with Smokefree Canterbury contributing to the cost of producing the signs.

Public compliance is voluntary so will not be enforced by the council, but Burden says if people feel safe, they can politely ask smokers to step outside the shelter.

The policy change also includes entrances and exits to council-owned buildings, libraries, community facilities, community halls, museums, leisure centres and recreational centres and signage will be installed at these buildings.

The no smoking rule is effective from January next year, but it is hoped people will stop smoking at bus shelters when they encounter the signs.

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