Cost of smoking ban signs $3500

Banning smoking in open public places would not be a costly exercise for the Waitaki District Council, with Public Health South estimating a cost of about $3500 to put up 39 smokefree signs.

Public Health South has asked the council to develop a smoke-free outdoor public places policy.

The policy would cover parks, playgrounds, sports fields, reserves, skateboard parks, outdoor sporting facilities and beaches in the district.

Public Health South put the case while the council was hearing submissions on its 2011-12 draft annual plan.

Health promotion officer Anna Frost said many outdoor public spaces were used by children and young people.

These people had little choice in exposure to second-hand smoke, she said. The policy would not require policing.

It could be covered by signs, she said. A North Island company had quoted a cost of $3503 for 39 480mm by 600mm signs.

"Many other councils have committed to an outdoor public places smokefree policy, but the Waitaki district is lagging behind," Ms Frost told the council.

She believed such a policy would have community support, particularly in making areas where children congregated smokefree.

The council will consider Public Health South's proposal when its considers other submissions on the annual plan on May 31.

david.bruce@odt.co.nz

 

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