New Zealand

nzOn December 3, 2003, an amendment to the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 was passed. The amendment (the Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act 2003), required, among other things that:

  • buildings and grounds of schools and early childhood centres become smoke-free from January 1, 2004
  • licensed premises (bars, restaurants, cafes, sports clubs, casinos) become smoke-free indoors from 10 December 2004
  • other workplaces become smoke-free indoors from December 10, 2004, including offices, factories, warehouses, work canteens and ‘smoko’ rooms

The use of herbal smoking products is also prohibited under the legislation. There are some exemptions, including prison cells, and smoking rooms are permitted in rest homes, hospitals and psychiatric institutions. Further information regarding the smoke-free law is available from the Ministry of Health Government website at: (new window)

South Taranaki has recently announced its smoke-free policy in parks and playgrounds, a first for New Zealand.

Statistics for smokefree New Zealand

The proportion of surveyed bars with smoking occurring decreased from 95% to 3% during July 2004 and April 2005. Between 2004 and 2005, public support for smokefree bars rose from 56% to 69%. In the same period, support for the rights of bar workers to have smokefree workplaces rose from 81% to 91%. During the first ten months of the smokefree bars policy, there were only 196 complaints to officials about smoking in the over 9900 licensed premises. The proportion of smokers who reported that they smoked more than normal at bars, nightclubs, casinos and cafes halved between 2004 and 2005 (from 58% to 29%).

Seasonally adjusted sales in bars and clubs changed little (0.6% increase) between the first three quarters of 2004 and of 2005, while cafe and restaurant sales increased by 9.3% in the same period. Both changes continued existing trends. Compared to the same period in 2004, average employment during the first three quarters of 2005 was up 24% for ‘pubs, taverns and bars’, up 9% for cafes/restaurants, and down 8% for clubs (though employment in ‘pubs, taverns and bars’ may have been affected by unusually high patronage around a major sports-series).

The proportion of bar managers who approved of smokefree bars increased from 44% to 60% between November 2004 and May 2005. Bar managers also reported increased agreement with the rights of bar workers and patrons to smokefree environments.

Smokefree world supplied by
ASH Scotland