Prosecution under the Smoke-free Environments Act

Press Release – Auckland Regional Public Health Service

The Ministry of Health, in conjunction with Auckland Regional Public Health successfully prosecuted Fanseco Limited, under the Smoke-free Environments Act. “This is the first smoke-free prosecution in the Auckland area of a bar or restaurant, and came …

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, 25 November 2011 The Ministry of Health, in conjunction with Auckland Regional Public Health successfully prosecuted Fanseco Limited, under the Smoke-free Environments Act. “This is the first smoke-free prosecution in the Auckland area of a bar or restaurant, and came about as a result of complaints. This prosecution sends a clear message to other bars and restaurants that are breaking the law.” says Dr Andrew Lindsay, Medical Officer of Health, Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

Dr Lindsay says, “On Friday, 18 November 2011 at the Auckland District Court, Fanseco Limited, a licensee of a karaoke venue was fined a total of $2600.00. This prosecution reflects the level of disapproval from the community and the serious view taken by the courts.”

The karaoke venue in Auckland city, which is now under new ownership, had been the subject of a number of complaints relating to smoking inside the premises. “It is disappointing that despite warnings from Auckland Regional Public Health Service, the licensee of the premises did not meet their obligations under the Smoke-free Environments Act.”

These premises were found to be in breach of the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 in allowing their customers to smoke in their karaoke rooms. Fanseco Limited were given both verbal and written warnings before a decision was made to prosecute.

“It is now seven years since the legislation came into effect which prohibits smoking inside licensed premises. The vast majority of premises comply with the law. The public appreciate the fact they can now go out to bars, restaurants and clubs and enjoy a smoke-free environment.”

“We, along with the Ministry of Health, will continue to take breaches of the Smoke-free Environments Act very seriously.” Second-hand smoke is known to cause serious illness in those who choose not to smoke.

ENDS

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