Smokefree Community Spaces create smokefree kids
The Government has set a goal to make New Zealand Smokefree by 2025. One way to help achieve this goal is to make more community spaces smokefree.
Encouraging smokefree parks, playgrounds and sports grounds can help stop children starting to smoke. The average age for starting to smoke is around 14 years and for tamariki Maori it is around 11 years old.
Children copy what they see – that’s why smokefree family and whānau role models are one of the best ways to prevent children and young people from smoking. If adults don’t smoke around children it is less likely that children will start smoking themselves. Remember our children are the next generation of non smokers.
All 12 Councils in the Canterbury West Coast region now have policies for smokefree outdoor areas in their parks, playgrounds and sports grounds.
Smokefree Community Spaces in Christchurch
Smokefree Canterbury worked with the Christchurch City Council in 2009 to adopt and implement a plan to make all Christchurch parks, playgrounds, sports grounds and Council events smokefree. Community and Public Health is a member of Smokefree Canterbury, and staff worked with other organisations within this network to make this happen.
The Selwyn District Council chose to adopt a policy to make Selwyn’s playgrounds, parks, sports grounds and Council run or sponsored events smoke-free in December 2011, with the assistance of Smokefree Canterbury.
Smokefree Canterbury’s 2014 community survey showed public support for the current Smokefree policy for parks, playgrounds and sports grounds and also other open public places in Christchurch.
A 2015 survey of Christchurch hospitality businesses showed support for smokefree outdoor dining. This resulted in 20 cafés and restaurants voluntarily going smokefree as part of a six-month pilot called the Fresh Air Project.
Smokefree Parks and Playgrounds in the Ashburton District
In 2006 two young students from Hampstead School proactively asked the Ashburton District Council to make the playground in Friedlander Park Smokefree.
On World Smokefree Day in 2007, the Council declared the Friedlander Park playground Smokefree, and the Council declared all playgrounds throughout the district to be smokefree in late 2007.
The Ashburton District Council’s Smokefree Policy was extended to cover Council-owned sports grounds and the skatepark in 2010 and 2011, due to strong support from the community.
Smokefree Community Spaces in South Canterbury
Health promoters from Community and Public Health in Timaru are working with the three councils in the area, as part of Smokefree South Canterbury.
The Waimate District Council made positive steps towards the Smokefree 2025 goal with the adoption of a comprehensive Smoke-free Environments Policy in 2015. The policy includes provision for walkways and cycle tracks as well as playgrounds, sports grounds, council run events, entrances to council buildings and other council owned buildings such as rural halls, community housing, public toilets and the events centre.
The Timaru District Council designated their playgrounds smokefree in 2011 and sports grounds in 2012. Recently the Council formally endorsed the Smokefree 2025 goal and required all events to be smokefree if run, funded or supported by the Council. They are also considering the effects of extending their current Smokefree Public Outdoor Areas policy to include all of Caroline Bay, bus stops or shelters, and al fresco dining on Council-owned land or footpaths.
The Mackenzie District Council has a policy covering playgrounds and sports grounds. Work continues to extend their current policy.
Smokefree Playgrounds for the West Coast
The Buller, Grey and Westland District Councils all adopted a Smokefree Outdoor Areas Policy between August and December 2011. This result follows more than three years of effort by Community and Public Health as part of the West Coast Tobacco Free Coalition (WCTFC).
The focus now is putting up signs across the region to make everyone aware of the smokefree areas.
Contact your local CPH office 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
Signage for playgrounds and sports grounds
Staff at Community and Public Health developed the Smokefree signs that the Waimate District Council use in their playgrounds and sports grounds. These signs are now also used in other parts of New Zealand.
Community and Public Health and the Smokefree South Canterbury Committee are happy for others to use them too.
If you are interested in using these signs, please read the Terms of Agreement document below. Contact the South Canterbury office for more details (03 687 2600).