New smokefree policy aims to kerb public smoking, vaping

19 Dec 2023, 9:36 AM

The range of public places on the Kāpiti Coast where smoking is discouraged will expand and include the increasingly prevalent vaping. 

Kāpiti Coast District Council adopted the Smokefree Public Places Policy 2023 on 14 December. 

The policy replaces the Smokefree Parks and Playgrounds Policy 2008 and broadens the places where smoking is not permitted beyond the parks and playgrounds included in that policy. 

Through the new policy the community is asked to consider others and not smoke or vape at: 

  • all Council-owned parks, reserves, and sportsgrounds
  • all Council-owned playgrounds, including skateparks
  • within 10 metres of outdoor public areas around Council buildings and facilities
  • train stations, bus stops and shelters
  • beaches, rivers, lakes
  • outdoor dining on public land (from 2025)
  • events held on Council land or receiving Council funding (from 2025).

Councillor and chair of the Social Sustainability Committee Martin Halliday says the aim of the policy is to further de-normalise smoking and vaping, especially for young people. 

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand and brings extraordinary costs to our health system and economy,” Cr Halliday says. 

“Lighting up or vaping is harmful and the less our tamariki (children) see of it the better. Reducing the visibility of smoking and vaping has been proven to help reduce uptake, especially by children and young people.” 

Cr Halliday says vaping is a huge issue for young people. 

“It’s wicked scary and now we’re seeing another generation being enslaved to nicotine addiction. 

“We’re asking the community to set a good example and keep smoking and vaping out of public places. 

“The policy is not a ban and staff won’t be out issuing infringement notices for breaches, so we need community buy in. 

“Council will make it clear through signage and continuing education what is expected in our shared places, so let’s all do the right thing and play our part in reducing the harms and costs of smoking and creating a smokefree Kāpiti.” 

During consultation Council received 86 submissions on the draft policy. The majority of those supported the expansion of the policy and its inclusion of vaping.