Smoking tobacco causes harm to individuals, families and communities.

Māori are disproportionately affected by smoking with Māori women having the highest smoking rates in the country.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) aims to prevent further harm from tobacco by the promotion of social, physical and environmental strategies to improve and protect the public.

ARPHS is working towards the goal of having more communal public places that are smokefree and half as many places to buy tobacco in Auckland. We are doing this through both health promotion and regulatory interventions.

We have designated Smokefree Enforcement Officers who monitor and enforce the Smokefree Environments Act 1990.

Our staff mobilise networks and inform stakeholders through evidenced-based research on effective legislation, policy and enforcement.

Our strategic objectives include:

  • Reducing tobacco-related health inequities

  • Building and maintaining stakeholder relationships which collaborate on shared goals

  • Supporting key types of areas that public use to be Smokefree in policy and practice

  • Championing stronger regulatory mechanisms to limit tobacco supply in Tamaki Makaurau

  • Collecting and analysing data to inform and monitor our strategic direction.

ARPHS Smokefree Officers investigate complaints in relation to the following matters:

  • Smoking in workplaces
  • Smoking in all hospitality venues and certain public places
  • Smoking in schools and early childhood centres
  • The sale of toy tobacco products
  • The sale and supply of tobacco products and herbal products to young adults
  • The retail display of tobacco products
  • The advertising of tobacco products.

If you wish to make a complaint about a possible breach of the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990, please contact one of our smokefree officers on (09) 623 4600 ext. 27272.

The minimum information required for an investigation to proceed is:

  • Name and address of retailer/premises/workplace
  • Date and time of incident
  • Whether the complainant actually saw the breach
  • A brief description of incident
  • Whether any photographic or video footage of the incident was taken
  • Whether the complainant is willing to state the organisation they work for. Does the complainant wish to remain anonymous; if so, there will be no further contact from ARPHS smokefree officers
  • Should the complainant wish to give us their contact details, they may be required to attend a court hearing at a future date should the complaint lead to a prosecution under the smoke-free Environments Act 1990.

We regularly undertake ‘controlled purchase operations’ on premises that sell tobacco products. Controlled purchase operations involve volunteers under the age of 18 years who, within a safe environment, attempt to purchase tobacco products. We use this as a way to educate and teach tobacco retailers on the importance of asking for and checking identification of anyone purchasing tobacco.

ARPHS is aligned with the Government's Smokefree 2025 goal for New Zealand. 

Smokefree 2025 will be achieved by:

  • Protecting children from exposure to tobacco marketing and promotion
  • Reducing the supply of, and demand for, tobacco
  • Providing the best possible support for quitting.

For support to stop smoking:


Information for professionals:

Last updated 18.1.2021

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