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The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is being encouraged to follow the lead of the Central Otago District Council (CODC) on an expanded smoke-free policy.

Central Otago and Wakatipu Smokefree Coalition members Jo O’Connor and Diana Power are making a submission on the draft annual plan and will be speaking to councillors in Wanaka on May 20.

“We will be submitting what we would like to see in a smoke-free policy,” Mrs Power said.

The CODC adopted a smoke-free policy in February 2018 that was aimed at reducing exposure to second-hand smoke and de-normalisation of smoking.

The policy designated council-owned parks and reserves as smoke-free as well as walkways, sportsgrounds and playgrounds.

Areas within 10m of a public pedestrian entrance to council-owned buildings, bus stops, and outdoor cafe or dining areas on publicly owned land were also designated smoke-free.

Mrs O’Connor and Mrs Power want to encourage the QLDC to commit to a similar smoke-free policy for all public spaces, and for the central business district to be smoke and vape-free by 2021.

They say QLDC lags behind other councils with smoke-free policies, and they want to encourage recent positive leadership activities including the council’s endorsement of the Fresh Air Project in Queenstown which encouraged hospitality venues to have outdoor dining areas that were totally smoke and vape-free.

They would also like the council to endorse the Smokefree NZ 2025 goal of having less than 5% of New Zealanders being smokers.

“The whole outdoor al fresco dining movement is becoming more widespread,” Mrs Power said.

“The idea really is, where there are groups of people, we don’t want second-hand smoke.”