Canterbury District Health Board
June 2, 2017
Cantabrians are excited about smoke-free venues.
Even better, people are actively choosing to support venues that have smoke-free outdoor dining areas.
These are part of the findings from the Fresh Air project, a collaboration between the Cancer Society and Canterbury District Health Board, who, with the support of the Christchurch City Council, ran a summer trial to stub out smoking in the outdoor areas in a number of cafes and restaurants in the city.
During the six-month project, 20 venues were invited to make their outdoor dining areas smoke-free. Eighteen took up the challenge and became totally smoke-free hospitality venues.
Former manager of the Ilex café in the Botanical Gardens, Liz Parlane said that they had a really positive reaction to the project trial.
“It gave us permission to say that we are smoke-free and reinforce that the whole park is a smoke-free area.”
Current Manager Amy Stones said it was a useful way to raise awareness among tourists of the city’s no smoking areas.
Tania Hughes, who owns Savoir in Merivale, said that the transition to no smoking outdoors went really smoothly.
“It’s all been positive, and I have had really good feedback from my customers.”
Liz Chesterman, chief executive of the Cancer Society Canterbury and West Coast division said that the Cancer Society was heartened by the positive response to the summer trial.
“The results of this project show that New Zealand’s goal of being smoke-free by 2025 is achievable. We believe this is the beginning of a groundswell towards smoke-free communities everywhere.”
Kerry Marshall, Manager, Communities Team at Community and Public Health, praised the partnerships with the Cancer Society, Canterbury DHB, Community and Public Health, City Council and all businesses that made the project work. She also congratulated the cafes on having the courage to try something different.
“These business owners have been willing to take part in something innovative. I commend them for being brave and stepping out of their comfort zone.”
The Christchurch City Council were well represented at the celebration event, with Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner doing the ceremonial cake cutting honours, and Councillor Phil Clearwater there on behalf of his ward.
The Fresh Air Project has been perhaps closest to Cr. Glenn Livingstone’s heart.
He said that Christchurch City Council was taking its mandate as a clean, green city seriously and literally.
“We hope more venues see this as a positive move. It’s not only proved itself good for the community, but also good for business.”
Emily Box of the Cancer Society said that half of the pilot venues reported they had customers visiting specifically because they had smoke-free outdoor areas.
Other results showed that out of the 18 venues: Four reported an increase in customer numbers; 12 reported a decrease in the number of complaints about others smoking; 14 recorded more positive customer comments; 3 said more people were using the outdoor area.
With smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand, Emily believes the results show that there is an appetite among Kiwis to embrace a smoke-free environment.
“The next step for the Fresh Air project is to share our results, and encourage more venues to join the Fresh Air movement, and help move New Zealand closer to its Smoke-free 2025 goal.”
Celebrating the end of the Fresh Air project with cake Ruby Schurink (Cancer Society), City Councillor Glenn Livingstone, Emily Box (Cancer Society), Amanda Dodd, Heather Kimber (CPH), Martin Witt (Health Promotion Manager, Cancer Society) and Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Banks Peninsula Andrew Turner.