The Dunedin City Council has adopted a policy formally
stating its position on smoking - that Dunedin become a
smoke-free city - but has asked for further information on how
such a policy might be implemented.
The request for more information was tempered with a warning
from Crs Richard Thomson and Chris Staynes that the policy
should be the start of long-term incremental changes, because
trying to implement health promotion measures too fast
Cr Staynes said he wanted to find out what it might cost to
implement some of the measures proposed, as he agreed with
comments made by health promoters in a public forum before
yesterday's meeting of the council's community development
committee that the policy might be toothless if it had to
rely on changes being made within existing budgets.
The policy sets out the council's commitment to smoke-free
goals and outlines some measures it could consider taking,
such as promoting the smoke-free message on signs or other
communication in public places or at council-run or sponsored
events; negotiating smoke-free environments with lessees and
council-owned organisations and promoting the messages to
The council would not enforce the measures, just use them to
promote a message it supported.
Health promoters said they were largely happy with the
council's policy, but were concerned it did not having any
funding attached and directed the council to ''consider''
measures rather than definitely put them in place.
Penelope Scott, from the Cancer Society, said that could lead
to the policy being interpreted as a licence to do nothing.
Smoke-free public places were no longer a whacky idea, they
were mainstream and supported by most people, she said.
But council staff said that gave them the ability to decide
on what and when to act based on council priorities.
Staff are to report to councillors with an implementation
plan in time for annual plan discussion in May.