Supporting compliance with smokefree legislation
The Smokefree Environments Act 1990 (and its more recent amendments) is the key piece of Smokefree legislation in New Zealand. It has two main aims:
- to reduce the exposure of people to second hand smoke by making certain public areas smokefree;
- to prevent young people starting to smoke by controlling the advertising and promotion of tobacco products.
Reducing exposure to smoke in public places
- Workplaces including canteens and ‘smoko’ rooms;
- Schools and early childhood centres including buildings and surrounding grounds;
- Indoor areas of licensed premises including bars, restaurants, cafes, sports clubs and casinos.
Owners of licensed premises, managers of workplaces and Boards of schools all have a responsibility to ensure they meet the requirements of the Act.
Making these spaces Smokefree ensures that people who choose not to smoke will not suffer any negative affect on their health through exposure to second hand smoke. Children can go to school, adults can go to work and families can spend time together, all in Smokefree environments.
Controlling the advertising and promotion of tobacco products
Retailers who sell tobacco products have a responsibility to ensure they meet the requirements of the Act. This means:
- It is illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18;
- It is illegal to display tobacco products in retail outlets;
- Tobacco sales via the internet in NZ are also bound by the Act and must not display tobacco products or tobacco information.
Restricting tobacco product advertisement ensures that children, young people, non-smokers, those trying to quit and ex-smokers are not exposed to the sight of tobacco products. This makes it easier to be smokefree.
The role of Smokefree Enforcement Officers
Smokefree Enforcement Officers work for the Ministry of Health to ensure compliance with the Act, by:
- visiting tobacco retailers to remind them of their responsibilities and support them to maintain compliance
- conducting Controlled Purchase Operations with young volunteers to test tobacco retailer’s compliance
- visiting licensed premises to ensure their outdoor smoking areas comply with the requirements set out in the Act
- responding to complaints and queries.
Contact your local Smoke-free Enforcement Officer at Community and Public Health for support to comply with the Smokefree legislation.
Contact your local Smokefree Enforcement Officer for further information:
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169