Smokefree law unlikely to hurt businesses in New Zealand.



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Thursday 09 December 2004

ASH news release: For immediate release: 9th December 2004

 

Smokefree law unlikely to hurt business in New Zealand

 

On Friday 10th December, New Zealand will become the third country (after Ireland and Norway) to ban smoking in all workplaces and public places. An amendment to the Smoke-free Environments Act was passed last year which extended the existing smoking restrictions to all licensed premises and hospitality venues including bars, pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos. The 12-month lead in time has given businesses plenty of time to prepare for the legislation.

 

Bruce Robertson, chief executive of the Hospitality Association of New Zealand, says he does not expect a significant financial impact.   “Most of the leisure industry is ready for the change,” he said.

 

Auckland-based casino giant Sky City Entertainment Group which dominates New Zealand’s $2 billion gaming industry says it is “fully prepared” to meet the new smokefree legislation. “We’ve had a long enough lead-time, so we are as fully prepared as can be reasonably expected,” said Sky City Chief Executive Evan Davies.

 

Surveys show that the law has popular support with 76% of New Zealanders in favour and 75% of non-smokers say they will be more likely to go to bars and to stay longer once the new law is in place.

 

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:

 

“New Zealand is to be congratulated on this bold measure which will ensure all workers and the public are protected from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Evidence from Ireland and other jurisdictions shows that smokefree laws do not harm the hospitality trade.

 

Although we are encouraged by the promises of smokefree legislation in the UK, the current proposals are inadequate to protect those most at risk – namely those working in clubs, pubs and bars.   We urge the UK government to follow the lead of Ireland, Norway and New Zealand and implement a comprehensive law to protect all workers from tobacco smoke pollution.”

 

 

ENDS

 

 

Notes and links:

[1]   Smokefree Environments Act 2003. http://www.moh.govt.nz/smokefreelaw

Contact: Deborah Arnott 020 7739 5902 (w) 079 7693 5987 (m) ISDN available

 

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