Smokefree Sports Club

Smokefree Sports Club

Sport is a large contributor to everyday life in New Zealand, enriching our communities in so many ways. It raises enjoyment levels and health outcomes, and contributes to a sense of belonging and community spirit. Sports clubs are central to making this happen.

Why Go Smokefree ?


  • Improve performance
    It is well established that smoking has a negative effect on sports performance. If your club wants its players to achieve to the best of their ability, then going smokefree makes sense.
  • A family friendly environment
    Going smokefree provides a better experience for both players and spectators. Few parents, smoking or non-smoking, want their children to become smokers, so making your grounds smokefree will be attractive to families. Going smokefree also means you won’t have to clean up cigarette butts!
  • Help prevent people from taking up smoking
    Research tells us that young people who are around those who smoke are more likely to take up smoking. The less young people are around those who smoke, the less “normal” smoking becomes, and the less likely young people are to start smoking.

Creating a Smokefree/Auahi Kore sports club and grounds sends a positive message to players, coaches, managers and supporters.  It is an important way to stop children/tamariki and young people/rangatahi from starting smoking. It also provides a supportive environment for those wishing to quit.

It isn't about excluding smokers - we know that four out of five smokers want to quit and smokefree environments help them to do this.

Smokefree New Zealand 2025

The Government has a goal of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025. Becoming a smokefree club is part of the journey to achieve this. This is not about banning smoking.
Learn more about Smokefree 2025.

Smokefree Sports Clubs

In 2003 an amendment to the Smokefree Environments Act 1990 made sports club buildings smokefree. This was as a result of leadership and support from several Canterbury sporting associations and the initiative has been very successful.

While club buildings are required to be smokefree under the Act, club or land owners have a choice over whether sport grounds are smokefree.

Smokefree sportsgrounds

The Christchurch City Council has a Smokefree policy for all sports grounds, parks and playgrounds they own.

This is a voluntary policy that is all about encouraging responsible adult behaviour and not smoking around children and young people.

The policy gives your club a real mandate to extend smokefree places to include your sports grounds.