Making New Zealand streets smoke-free could help grow businesses by making the city centre a nicer place to be.
A new survey has found Wellington businesses are not worried about the thought of smoking being banned in their city centre.
Of the 198 business owners and managers spoken to along the stretch from Lambton Quay to Courtenay Place, 83 per cent thought it would have either a positive or negligible impact on business, public health researchers from Wellington's University of Otago found.
However, businesses selling food with outdoor seating were most likely to think there would be a negative impact.
Study co-author, associate professor Nick Wilson, said the survey was carried out in light of increasing moves towards smoke-free city streets and shopping areas in the United States and Australia.
The lack of concern from the majority of businesses showed that many could consider it a positive step if the city streets became smoke-free, he said.
''It could even be the case that by making the centre city more attractive, smoke-free streets could increase business activity.''
Dr Wilson said such smoke-free policy decisions were helpful towards denormalising smoking and preparing New Zealand for the government's goal of a smoke-free nation by 2025.
The survey results come after Wellington City Council last week approved a move to make all city playgrounds, sports fields and skate parks smoke-free.
The ban will see signs erected in playgrounds and parks, but no fines for people who disobey the rule.
But they voted down a motion by councillor Stephanie Cook calling for council staff to investigate further smoke-free areas, including the Wellington’s city centre, Fairfax media reported.
Do you think smokefree streets are a good idea?Have Your day below