The Health Protection Team has a key roles in monitoring and enforcing the smokefree environments legislation (the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (the Act) and the Smoke-free Environments Regulations 2007). The Act has two main aims:
- to reduce the exposure of people to second hand smoke by making certain public areas smokefree;
- to prevent young people starting to smoke by controlling the advertising and promotion of regulated products.
- requires smokefree and vapefree indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
- limits tobacco and vaping advertising and promotion and the sponsorship of events by anyone who manufactures or sell tobacco or vapes.
- Restricts the sale or supply of tobacco and vaping products to those over 18-years-of-age.
- Does not allow the sale of single cigarettes and packs of fewer than 20 cigarettes.
- Requires the buildings and grounds of schools and early childhood centres to be smokefree and vape-free
Vaping products are also regulated through the Act with further measures being phased in over 15 months from November 2020. Click here for more information on vaping and smokeless tobacco products.
Some members of the Health Protection Team are Enforcement Officers under the Act. They work to ensure compliance with the Act by:
- visiting retailers to remind them of their responsibilities and support them to maintain compliance.
- conducting Controlled Purchase Operations with young volunteers to test retailer’s compliance;
- visiting premises to ensure their open areas (where smoking is allowed) comply with the requirements set out in the Act; and
- responding to complaints and queries relating to the legislation.
The Health Protection Team also works closely with the Smokefree Programme Team which is also part of the wider Population Health Team which sits within the Te Puni Tūmatawhānui, Health Improvement and Equity Directorate at Hawke's Bay Distrct Health Board.