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Outdoor smoking ban stupid

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 41 comments
Categories: local government - Tags:

According to Radio NZ the Western Bay of Plenty District Council is declaring a ban on smoking outdoors.

The ban covers 30 beaches including the popular holiday spots of Waihi Beach, Maketu and Athenree – and the towns of Katikati and Te Puke.

Signs will be put up informing smokers to stub out on playgrounds, sports fields, parks, reserves and land around public halls.

It’s just plain stupid. Smoking outdoors doesn’t harm anyone but yourself. If it’s a littering problem you’ve got, then pass an anti-littering bylaw.

This is just authoritarian bullshit.


41 comments on “Outdoor smoking ban stupid”

  1. bill brown 1

    As an ex-smoker, I support bans on smoking anywhere – especially when I’m pissed.

    Sometimes the temptation is just too much.

  2. Deemac 2

    nonsense – you can still smoke outdoors, just not in playgrounds, on beaches etc (ie places the council maintains). Smoking – even outdoors – is actively damaging to vulnerable people. Plus the litter problem on beaches etc is serious. Smokers really do seem to have a blind spot about how offensive their behaviour is to others.

    • Quoth the Raven 2.1

      I don’t smoke and I don’t find it at all “offenisive” when people smoke around me. I’m not paranoiac so I don’t worry about the health effects of passive smoking either.

  3. vto 3

    Sheesh, when will it all end?

    But seriously – do local authorities have the authority to implement a ban like that? They can implement alcohol bans but something makes me suspect that is by way of particular legislation. Can they control people’s own personal activity to such an extent? Under what legislation? It has made me curiously curious.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Christchurch has already pretty much done this:


    Although it says it is not an outright ban.

    • Adders 4.1

      Horowhenua has too, in playgrounds. It’s a combined initiative with the local health authority. It is not actively policed. The idea is to “de-normalize’ smoking in the eyes of children, so to speak.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    No this is long over due, I am sick and tired of smokers sitting at cafes outside and smoking it is disgusting and it stinks. The problem is you often cant get away from the smoker or their smoke. I don’t choose to smoke and as far as I am concerned if you want to then do it in the privacy of your own home not in public. This is not authoritarian bullshit its long over due.

    • Tigger 5.1

      “Smoking outdoors doesn’t harm anyone but yourself.”

      So you can point to research that deems second hand smoke safe?

      There is nothing worse than having to run a gauntlet past smokers – it’s worst entering buildings where smokers are in the doorway, at the beach or park where they are sitting across from you and smoke is blowing into you or walking behind them on a footpath.

  6. gitmo 6

    Can we ban Gingas in public as well ?

  7. tc 7

    looks like a job for Wonder Wodney and his amazing local authority disappearing act…….smoking is 21st century leprosy, IMHO eventually you’ll only be able to do it on our own property as the only place you’ll have the right to.
    Agree with Craig, it’s often all the more offensive as it’s concentrated in an area too close to non smokers and recently in sydney smoking on a bar balcony (open to the bar with smoke wafting in) is OK as it’s deemed ‘an outside space’.
    So it’s just evolution really as everyone looks to curb their exposure.

  8. Noko 8

    You don’t get to ban things because we don’t like them. I heard a guy talking on the Panel on National Radio about it. He said that it was a bad image for children to see, as it might influence them. That’s not why you ban things, guys. You ban them because of the harm they cause. I suspect pushing smokers inside will lead to an increase of children with asthma and other related repository diseases because smokers will have nowhere else to smoke. That’s pretty shitty.

    I’d rather get a whiff of smoke, than some kid getting glue-ear or asthma.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Influencing a kid to smoke is somehow not ‘causing harm’?

      • Noko 8.1.1

        Monkey see, monkey do, right? You underestimate kids.

        Why don’t we ban obese people in public? That obviously tells the kid it’s okay to be fat.

        • Zorr

          One of the more personally disturbing things I saw recently was when my wife and I took our son to the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch. On leaving through one of the gates we spotted a guy staunchly standing there, dark glasses on with a denim jacket, smoking a cigarette. Standing staunchly right next to him was his 7-10 year old son, with his dark glasses and denim jacket on.

          Monkey see, monkey do.

          The problem is that this behaviour is currently seen as an acceptable part of our society. The aim is to make such behaviour unacceptable in the eyes of the populace. If you find your filthy habit becoming unacceptable, tough.

          • Noko

            If you find your filthy habit becoming unacceptable, tough.

            Incredibly Puritanical statement right there.

            A kid dressed like his dad? Oh wow. That’s your proof that seeing someone in public smoking makes a kid want to smoke? You could’ve at least quoted the statistics that show kids with parents that smoke are more likely to smoke themselves. But even then, it wouldn’t really be that related to the subject at hand because I can understand the child imitating his parent, it’s the natural thing to do. But emulating someone random they see crowded around a door trying to shelter from the wind and rain?

  9. felix 9

    Ok, then let us smoke inside again. You can have the footpaths and the parks, just give us back the bars and smoko rooms. No problem.

    • TightyRighty 9.1

      dare i say it, but thank you felix. if you don’t like the fact we smoke, FO. we took it with good grace banning us from having a drink and a smoke in the pub. but telling me to hide in my own house like a pariah? douchebags

  10. Michael Foxglove 10

    Randomly banning things you think are bad solves nothing, and pisses a whole lot of people off. I can deal with the fact smoking in restaurants and bars is barred, but the state has no right to impinge on my freedom to this extent.

    Smoking outdoors is harming no one but myself. The second hand smoke isn’t exactly going to percolate around.

    If I want to smoke on the beach, that’s my damn choice.

    • Clarke 10.1

      Let me tell you a little story about a bloke I met in Singapore once.

      To set the scene: this was 1999, I was there on some IT business and we were in an expensive bar with a business colleague of mine, who is an ex-pat Pom. He’d lived in Singapore for about ten years at that point, and he introduced me to an old public school chum of his who was passing through Singapore on holiday.

      Said chum was a very senior person at Dunhill, a rabid Tory supporter, an archetypical public school bigot, a Lloyds name, and had about the same net worth as God – my colleague said his current value was “in excess of 200 million pounds”, a pretty big slice of which had come from Dunhill, where he’d worked since leaving Uni. He’d just had his 41st birthday.

      He was a non-smoker.

      After a few drinks he was happy to admit that smoking killed people, but he had absolutely no moral qualms about that at all. As he described it, smoking was a “stupidity tax”, and he had the view that it really didn’t matter what governments did, around 20-25% of the population would continue to smoke – even knowing that they would die an agonising death as a result. He seemed to think that it was practically his moral duty to make money out of morons. Lots of money.

      He said that the rest of the Dunhill empire – fashion and the like – was just as way of legitimising the brand, and that the other areas of business were simply a way of clouding the “obscene” amount of money they were making out of cigarettes.

      Apparently no-one in his family smoked, and he had threatened to disinherit his two daughters if either of them ever took up the habit. He was in Singapore because the family were on the way back from Thailand, where they’d just bought a holiday place – to go with the place in Italy, and the apartments in London and Paris. He wasn’t that keen on Thailand because it was out of range of casual use of the Dunhill corporate jet, and so he was forced to travel first class on a regular plane, but his wife and daughters liked Thailand so he was happy to make the compromise and drop his normal travel standards.

      He was probably the most vile and contemptible individual I have ever met.

      But as you say, “If I want to smoke on the beach, that’s my damn choice.” It certainly is – and that particular vile individual will be glad to know that you’ll be contributing about $150,000 to his lifestyle, assuming you smoke for the rest of your life, and he will feel vindicated that his cynical and exploitative view of humankind has been validated once again.

      Anyway, just my 2 cents worth.

      • Noko 10.1.1

        And sometimes somebody comes home with a 2L tub of Talley’s Icecream. Someone I know banks with Westpac, even though they send their profits overseas. Sometimes I hope at a New World that pays it’s workers minimum wage.

        I bank at Kiwibank, and try to avoid Talley’s. I do the same with my smoking habits.

  11. Ari 11

    Smoking outside does harm people. It’s smoking downwind that’s generally okay. I can’t say I’m sorry to see smoking further limited from public places.

  12. I support smoking bans in confined spaces for sure, plenty of sound health reasons.
    But outdoor smoking bans are ridiculous.

  13. Having sat in many public spaces downwind of one or more smokers, I’m happy to see smoking banned anywhere it is practical to ban it.

    It stinks. Why should I or anyone else have to smell someone’s noxious emissions? Farting is rude. Belching in public is regarded as disgusting…..but smokers have for years gotten away with stinking a place up…indoors or outdoors. On a wet day, standing near a smoker for a minute or so can mean you stink for the rest of the day.

    Long past due smoking was discouraged as the repulsive, stinking, unhealthy habit it is.

    • felix 13.1

      I hope you’ll be supporting my efforts to have all cars and buses banned from city streets too.

      On a wet day, just standing at a bus stop can leave your clothes smelling of diesel fumes for the rest of the day. Why should I have to smell someone’s noxious emissions?

      While we’re at it (and I’m deadly serious about this) I’d like to see all children banned from all public spaces.

      Noisy, dirty, obnoxious, careless, disease-ridden, dangerous little fucking hazards, every one of them. Why should I have to put up with your offspring ruining my peaceful breakfast just because you want to replicate yourself?

      For now I’d be happy to see children banned from indoor public spaces (cafes, restaurants etc) but within a few years it should be extended to parks, footpaths, beaches and other outdoor spaces.

      If you want to raise children, do it at home. Don’t make it my problem.

      • George D 13.1.1

        There are good reasons for banning cars from public places.

        Exhaust emissions kill 400 per year in Auckland alone.

      • Steve Withers 13.1.2

        You commited suicide in the life of the argument with a response based on reductio ad absurdum….and a completely ridiculous response.

        Thank you. Saves me time.

        • felix

          I’m dead serious about banning children in public. The cars and buses thing was just an attempt to make fun of your silly sensibilities.

          However, that you find my opinion ridiculous in no way puts your own statements beyond ridicule.

  14. Bill 14

    Ban TV!

    And tabloids!

    And gossip mags!

    And bubble-gum hollywood movies!

    All of them real bad influences ( normalisation of violence, brain dead pap and two dimensional morality to name a few.)

    But outside smoking?

    Ban the advertising and the displays and even encourage addicts to register in order to receive tobacco on script thereby wiping out the habit in a generation.

    But where else will diminishing numbers of ex-smokers get that surreptitious suck on the teeny corporate cock if outside smoking is banned?

  15. Peter Steward 15

    While we are at it ban ugly peopole, those that don’t use deodorant, women with smudged lipstick, drongos with hoodies and back to front base ball caps, God I don’t knpw; maybe peopple with fierce pursed lips that hate smokers, sexually uninhibited sluts etc etc.
    Christ I hate puritans and left wing control freaks

    • Must be selfish, insensitive smoker night on The Standard.

      Used to it…..That’s how the worst smokers behave. Deaf to the concerns of others…..and happy to bathe everyone in their swirling, stinking fetid clouds of carcinogenic respiratory waste.

    • The Voice of Reason 15.2

      “Christ I hate puritans and left wing control freaks”

      Yup, pretty much sums up the political philosophy of the Western Bay of Plenty District Council. Probably.

  16. Yes…I’m taking the piss.

  17. Absolutely correct.

    Curious how those who care about health prioritise smoking, something people do purely for pleasure, over outdoor fires, chimneys and motorised transport. This indicates the motivation is as much a vindictive puritanism rather than a balanced view of health. Like the uptight school prefect who likes picking on people.

    This is EXACTLY where the term Nanny State comes in, the people who don’t like others smoking outside – well grow up and move a few steps over. The same if someone is shouting, which could arguably damage your hearing, or someone has bad breath or body odour.

    Ban smoking on your own private property if you wish, but public open spaces are owned by everyone, including smokers.

    The complete absence of tolerance of peaceful people doing something that is at worst a nuisance and tiny health hazard is the antithesis of so called “liberals”.

    Oh and I hate walking behind a smoker on the street or through a bunch of them, but I also hate crossing a busy street on a still day and inhaling particulates, I hate standing near loudmouths who think the world should hear their conversation and hate walking around towns like Timaru or Nelson in winter when home heating fires make the air truly toxic.

    So what if smokers stink, you do too on a bad day Steve. Should citations be given out because some people have such bad odour it can make someone vomit? Would you like a uniform whilst you gleefully patrol the streets to find offenders?

    • Jeremy 17.1

      I’m all in favour of restricting the use of outdoor fires, chimneys, and motorized transport. I’ll be even more in favour when there’s more of a meaningful alternative to the last of those in this country.

  18. QoT 18

    Smoking outdoors doesn’t harm anyone but yourself.

    Someone’s never walked down The Terrace during the coordinated-with-military-precision weekday lunchtime smoko break, I see.

  19. Mark Hubbard 19

    The below letter economist Donald J. Boudreaux sent to the LA Times sums up my response to this (although I have no idea what an ‘e-cigarette is, other than it doesn’t sound as good as a lovely cigar):


    You want e-cigarettes banned until and unless tests “determine whether they are indeed safe’ (‘Smoking out e-cigarettes,’ Oct. 26).

    “Safe’ according to whom?

    You write as if “safe’ is an objectively determinable and unique fact, such as whether or not your newspaper’s paid circulation exceeds 500,000 or whether or not your sister is pregnant. But “safe’ is not objective in this way. Because no product is 100 percent certain never to cause even the slightest harm (or 100 percent certain to cause harm), the question “Is this product safe?’ has no correct single answer. It has correct answers as varied as the number of that product’s potential users. No product is “safe’ or “unsafe’ in the abstract.

    Perhaps your tolerance for risk is higher than mine. Perhaps the pleasure I get from using a product is less than yours. If so, should I be permitted to prevent you from using that product because, for me, the product is insufficiently safe? My evaluation of the product’s safety is correct only for me, not for you. And matters don’t change if I’m a government official.

    Donald J. Boudreaux

  20. graham 20

    As a ex smoker i dont like the smell of smokers or their lack of will power.But as long as their are rubbish bins i dont have a problem with them smokeing and killing themselfs.But i do get pissed off with all their buts all over the place at beaches and parks.So the message to smokers tidy up after yourselfs all you will be baned in public

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