9 Jul 2013

Bid to overturn Waitemata DHB smoking ban fails

11:30 am on 9 July 2013

The High Court has dismissed a bid to overturn a smoking ban at all Waitemata District Health Board premises.

Two former psychiatric patients and a retired nurse had challenged the board's 2009 ban, saying it is a breach of human rights.

But in a ruling released on Monday, Justice Asher says the board acted within its powers. He says there is no breach of human rights by not allowing psychiatric patients to smoke, as the restraint applies to all patients, visitors and workers.

Justice Asher says the smoke-free policy achieves its purpose of stopping smoking and protecting non-smokers from tobacco smoke.

Waitemata DHB's lawyer, Jonathan Coates, says the board is pleased with the result. "It certainly validates the efforts that the DHB has put in over a great number of years to do what it thinks is the right thing for patients and staff, in relation to minimising smoking and ensuring that patients and staff and others are not exposed to secondhand smoke on the DHB's property."