Smokefree cafés numbers rise

Six new cafés and restaurants in Quality Street Whangarei are now offering smokefree outdoor dining as part of The Fresh Air Project, which now brings the total to 30 smokefree outdoor dining cafés in Whangarei.

“It is really encouraging that most of the food premises in Quality Street have jumped at the chance to offer smokefree outdoor dining,” Northland DHB smokefree coordinator Bridget Rowse said. “At this time of the year it is nice to eat outside and second-hand smoke isn’t just unpleasant, it poses a real health risk to which customers, café staff and public shouldn’t have to be exposed.”

Whangarei District Council reviewed it’s Smokefree policy in September 2018 and will be phasing in more smokefree outdoor public spaces. Many town centres around New Zealand have introduced smokefree CBD’s, Civic Spaces and laneways.

“We know from other cafés who have introduced smokefree outdoor dining that it attracts more families, improves the overall dining experience and is cleaner for the environment,” said Rebecca Gilbert, health promoter with Cancer Society Northland.

A recent survey of Whangarei residents showed that seventy-two percent supported smokefree outdoor public spaces, eighty-three per cent support smokefree outdoor dining and ninety-four percent of ‘customers’ supported smokefree outdoor dining.