Cafe sets smokefree trend

Enjoying a coffee and some lunch in the sun this summer just got more pleasant for customers at one ground-breaking Whangarei cafe.

The Tarewa Park cafe has recently become the first completely smokefree cafe in the country.

The outdoor dining area in the park has become smokefree as part of the Whangarei District Council policy to make all parks, playgrounds and sports grounds smokefree.

During summer, Tarewa Park will be a destination for visitors and families, and cafe manager Stephanie Saramet said it was the perfect opportunity to embrace the council's smokefree parks policy.

"It's a much nicer dining experience when you can enjoy a nice meal outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air and even better when you don't have someone at the next table smoking," she said.

All three Northland councils have taken steps to create a smokefree future for the region. Kaipara District Council was first in 2008 with smokefree playgrounds, extending the policy to cover sportsgrounds and parks in 2012.

Whangarei council implemented a smokefree policy in September 2010 for Whangarei playgrounds and sportsgrounds with neighbourhood parks going smokefree in September 2011.

Far North District Council voted to implement a smokefree policy this year for playgrounds, sportsgrounds and parks to go smokefree from last September.

Northland District Health Board smokefree adviser Bridget Rowse said: "This is all about the kids, being smokefree role models for them, and showing them that smoking is not a 'normal' activity."

Cancer Society Northland health promoter Jim Callaghan said the policy was a step in the right direction towards a smokefree New Zealand.

A University of Otago survey found that 98.5 per cent of New Zealanders were in favour of making all public spaces smokefree.

- By Sophie Ryan of The Northern Advocate

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