Why is this smokefree and vapefree trial taking place?

    Environmental protection is important to our local community. The issue of Tobacco Waste Products (TWP) in our environment, particularly cigarette butts, has been highlighted in recent years.  Findings from recent research by Keep New Zealand Beautiful found cigarette butts were the most commonly littered item (78%).  

    Recent concerns have also been raised across Aotearoa New Zealand about how many young people are taking up vaping.  Principals from a number of high-decile schools say that at least a third of their students are trying vaping, while health groups say regulation is urgently needed. In response, Central Government is currently developing vaping laws that aim to stop young people from taking up vaping.   

    In the lead up to development of a draft smokefree policy for our district, Council has approved an initial project to test the introduction of new smokefree and vapefree zones in public outdoor spaces. This is the current trial at some of our most visited and visible locations - the lakefront beach areas in Queenstown, Wānaka, Frankton and Glenorchy.

    The development of a new smokefree and vapefree policy in 2020 will provide the community with an opportunity to agree a position on how we want to reduce environmental and health related harm from smoking and vaping.

    Do you currently have a smokefree policy?

    Yes, but it isn't comprehensive.

    Our current smokefree policy is Smoke-Free Policy in Playgrounds, Sports Fields and Swimming Pools (adopted – Council 24 November 2006):

    1. Council owned playgrounds and swimming pools are declared smoke free.
    2. The policy is educational as opposed to penal in seeking compliance.

    Are you trying to stop me from smoking?

    This trial is about encouraging people to respect our environment and each other by not smoking or vaping in the trial zones. It isn't about banning smoking or vaping but instead uses education and awareness to share the smokefree and vapefree message. The success of this trial will rely on social pressure to comply. 

    How does this relate to Smokefree Aotearoa 2025?

    The development of a new smokefree and vapefree policy will align with Central Government's goal of becoming a smokefree nation by 2025.  The trial project is one method introduced locally to support Smokefree Aotearoa 2025.