800 Auckland restaurants ban outdoor smoking

About 800 Auckland restaurants, cafes and bars with outdoor dining areas have banned smoking.

Auckland Council has renewed hundreds of outdoor dining licences to ensure hospitality venues are smokefree, part of the Council's plan to become a smokefree city by 2025.

Councillor Penny Hulse, chairperson of the council's environment and community committee, said the Council wanted to ensure a clean environment.

"Smokefree al fresco dining areas are a health benefit to serving staff and smokers trying to quit as well as providing a healthy and clean environment for customers of our many great hospitality venues," Hulse said.

"This is a proactive and tangible way for the council to endorse the smokefree message and denormalise smoking in our public spaces.

Cancer Society health promotion manager for Auckland and Northland, Kristina Marckean, applauded the move.

"Research shows us exposure to second-hand smoke in outdoor dining areas is a real risk. Smokefree al fresco areas will be a breath of fresh air for our cafes, bars and restaurants and will help to protect the health of all Aucklanders, especially hospitality workers," Marckean said.

Council research from 2016 shows 90% of Aucklanders would be more likely to visit an outdoor dining area if it was smokefree.

It found 75% of Aucklanders were supportive of smokefree outdoor dining areas.

Auckland Council began rolling out smokefree bans for public areas in November last year, including in civic and shared spaces, beaches and sports grounds.

Brad Meiklejohn, owner of Auckland cafe Orvieto which has been smokefree for close to two years, said customers were pleased with the smokefree move.

"Smoking has become less and less acceptable and I think hospitality venues would actually lose customers if smoking was to continue in outdoor dining areas," Meiklejohn said.

The council is providing restaurants and cafes with free signage to help implement the ban.

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