World Smokefree Day is 31 May, in Hutt City we’re doing Smokefree May. This is because we need more than just one day to celebrate the great progress being made towards a Smokefree Hutt City.

The theme for World Smokefree Day 2017 is “It’s about whanau”, which means encouraging and supporting friends, families and whanau to quit, and creating environments where our children are free from exposure to second hand smoke.

Creating smokefree environments is high on the agenda for Hutt City Council. It has almost been a year since the Hutt City Council extended the Smokefree Outdoor Public Places Policy in July 2016. The policy aims to reduce the harm from second hand smoking and make smoking less visible, especially to our young people.

As well as playgrounds and swimming pool complexes, the following areas of Lower Hutt are now smokefree:

  • Parks and sportsgrounds – including skate parks
  • Bus shelters and train stations
  • Outdoor pavement dining
  • Outdoor public areas around Council buildings and facilities
  • Council run and sponsored events

“Hutt City is proud to have one of the most comprehensive smokefree policies in New Zealand” says Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace. “Council is taking a leadership role in the community’s health and wellbeing. This policy is not about persecuting people who smoke. This is a positive approach to encourage people not to light up in public”.

With the policy in place and being acted on, it is time to turn our attention to how else we can help support the people of Lower Hutt to be smokefree. Hutt City Council is exploring creating smokefree town centres. Work has started in Wainuiomata and Stokes Valley to gauge community views. Residents and business owners alike are encouraged to get involved to share their ideas.

Support is available to those would like to quit. You can contact the regional Stop Smoking Service Takiri Mai te Ata on 0800 926 257 or Quitline on 0800 778 778.