Porirua City is expanding its smoke-free areas to include beaches, the city centre and all council-owned and managed sites. The smoke-free sites will not only include traditional cigarettes but also vaping and e-cigarettes. The Porirua City Council’s updated Smokefree Outdoor Public Places Policy has been recommended by the City Delivery Committee.

Jonathan Devery, director of Vapo and Alt, believes that the Porirua vaping ban follows similar moves by other councils. However, given the ongoing smoking epidemic in Porirua, the local council should be thinking more laterally and treating vaping as a help not a hinderance. “Porirua claims their policy will contribute to the Government’s national goal of Smoke Free 2025 but banning vaping won’t help one person quit smoking. It’s a shame because Porirua has a higher smoking rate than the national average, with 17 percent still smoking.”

Porirua’s decision to include vaping in its smoke-free policy follows Wellington City Council recently making vaping part of its Smokefree Action Plan.

The co-owner of New Zealand’s largest vaping business said Hamilton, not Porirua or Wellington, is the city showing real civic leadership. Just last month the Hamilton City Council voted to keep vaping out of the city’s smoke-free policy and plan.

Devery suggests before voting Porirua councillors should study Auckland Council’s Smokefree Action Plan approved last week. One of its three activity streams is titled ‘Switch to quit’ which recognises that vaping is a legitimate tool to help established smokers quit.