Little rejects outdoor smoking ban

The Herald reports:

Labour leader says banning outside bars, cafes and restaurants would be a step too far, describing a smoke after a drink as one of “life’s little pleasures” for some people.

About 70 per cent of councils at the Local Government NZ conference yesterday voted to ask the Government to ban smoking outside cafes, bars and restaurants.

The former Labour Government banned smoking inside bars and other workplaces in 2003 but Mr Little did not believe that should be extended to outside areas.

“I agree people shouldn’t be allowed to smoke inside buildings which the public have access to. But in the end, people are able to lawfully buy tobacco products, they must be able to lawfully use them somewhere. We can go a bit too far sometimes in banning their use outside in public places.”

Bar owners had told him restrictions did impact on them and smoking was already restricted to outside areas. “There are some people, they go to a bar, they have a drink and they have a smoke and it’s a part of life’s little pleasures.”

Pleasing to see a Labour leader take a balanced approach and reject a ban. I suspect Andrew is remembering his days a EPMU leader, knowing that a fair proportion of his members would like to have a smoke down at the pub – and Labour won’t win them back by demanding that they lose the ability to do that.

Comments (21)

Login to comment or vote