FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
30 May, 2012
Focus on Family for Smokefree Day 2012
Smoking is “incredibly destructive to our people’s health, massively expensive for our country and detrimental to our communities” says Auckland Mayor, Len Brown. Aucklanders seem to agree, if the drive towards a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 is anything to go by.
The New Zealand Government led initiative is quickly gaining momentum across the region. Activities and promotions around Smokefree Day on May 31 have been widespread and greatly supported. This year rather than just focusing on one day, a full month of activities have taken place and the Health Promotion team at Auckland Regional Public Health Services (ARPHS) has been working hard to keep up with public interest.
A number of proactive groups across Auckland have been armed with information, materials, site visits and support to change workplace policies and systems. On a more individual level, people who want to either support someone to quit, or quit themselves have been offered personal assistance including free services, patches, and even language specific support.
A new initiative that has been increasing in popularity, is the encouragement of places such as businesses, schools and marae, to go completely Smokefree. One such Organisation is Te Wananga o Aotearoa Mangere campus, which have focussed their efforts on going 100%smokefree by Matariki (the Maori New Year). “Cessation support for staff and students has been made available as a part of working towards our goal of making both grounds and staff smokefree” says Rubina Tautari, Occupational Safety and Health worker for Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
Activities that ARPHS have facilitated in the Auckland region have been as wide and varied as the smokers they have been trying to reach. The Regional Team coordinators for World Smokefree Day 2012 have dedicated many hours to get the message across and it seems to have been heard: ‘Quit now, it’s about whanau’.
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