Smokefree is about to mean vapefree as well in outdoor public places, parks and playgrounds around Palmerston North.
The city council’s planning and strategy committee has recommended adopting a revised Auahi Kore Smokefree and Vapefree Policy.
The council received 223 submissions on the proposal, with about 80 per cent in favour of the change.
Those who supported the change said the smoke and smell from vaping was a nuisance and allowing people to do it in public places was likely to encourage young people to take up the habit.
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Those opposed said vaping was a useful tool to help people who wanted to quit smoking, that second-hand vapour was not harmful, and it should not be treated the same as smoking.
Council policy analyst Lili Kato said some people complained the policy was an infringement of their rights and freedoms, given it was a legal activity.
Cr Lorna Johnson said given the level of public support for going vapefree, the council should make the move.
“While the jury is still out on the long-term effects, it is sensible to take a precautionary view.”
Stuff asked people out and about in Palmerston North what they thought of discouraging vaping.
Fiona Vos, 50, works in reservations at Air New Zealand and does not smoke nor vape.
“Vaping should be the same as smoking.
“It actually feels worse than smoking because of the huge clouds, even if it may be better than smoking.
“It definitely should be done in designated areas.”
Brooke Mehlhopt, 19, is an assistant retail manager who smokes.
“I think it’s unnecessary.
“It’s a way of quitting smoking.
“If you want it to be smokefree, you can’t make it vapefree.
“All my friends vape. I’m the only one left.
“Quitline has been promoting vaping as a way to quit, so it’s confusing. You quit smoking by vaping.”
Aydan Lyons, 18, is a UCOL student who does not smoke nor vape.
“I totally agree with the city council.
“Smokefree zones are for people with asthma, so I’m pretty sure vape smoke can cause it too.
“The smell and smoke just also gets in the way.
“I’m OK with people vaping, just don’t do it in smokefree zones.”
Dianne Puryer, 63, is a hairstylist who smokes and vapes.
“I think what the city council is contemplating is ridiculous.
“It’s the people’s choice
“We make sure we aren’t close to anybody. We try to stay away and be thoughtful.
“I always have peppermints with me to take afterwards.
“It’s as if it’s becoming a communist state, trying to control what can and can’t be done.”
Phil Dyer, 72, is retired, and does not smoke or vape.
“I think it’s great if the city council is planning to do that.
“It’s not good for your health and lungs.
“Even if it’s secondary smoke, it’s still unhealthy.”