Whanganui DHB marks May 31 World Smokefree Day


28 May 2018

Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) tobacco control and mental health health promoter Sarah Hawken will be at the Quit Clinic showing her support for the Whanganui Stop Smoking Service’s World Smokefree Day Open Day this Thursday.

Ms Hawken says it’s important she’s there ‘waving the flag’ given that the WDHB is doing all it can to encourage smokers to quit and non-smokers to never start.

New Zealand’s World Smokefree Day is based on the annual 31 May No Tobacco Day introduced by the World Health Organisation in 1987. The New Zealand Government’s goal is to see fewer than five percent of New Zealanders smoking by 2025.

“The fact we know the majority of New Zealanders are smokefree, and we now have smokefree whānau, whare, workplaces and public spaces is worth celebrating,” Ms Hawken says.

“According to information gathered in the Health Promotion Agency’s 2014 Health and Lifestyles Survey, close to 84 percent of New Zealanders are now smokefree and the latest New Zealand Health Survey released in March this year showed that across the Whanganui district, 30 percent of those aged 15 and over now classify themselves as ex-smokers.”

Ms Hawken says she applauds the councils and employers who are showing support for community members and employees by providing smokefree public spaces and support for smokefree workforces.

“Workplace and community initiatives of this nature are vital because the less smoking young people see around them, the less likely they are to become smokers themselves,” Ms Hawken says.

“World Smokefree Day is the perfect opportunity to encourage and support friends and whānau on their quit smoking journey. If you want to stop smoking, or want to support someone who smokes to quit, contact the local Stop Smoking Service on 0800 200 249 for free and confidential advice and support.”

  • The Whanganui Stop Smoking Service’s World Smokefree Day Open Day celebrations will run from 11am to 4pm at the Quit Clinic, corner of Wicksteed and Ingestre St (49 Ingestre St) where they will offer cuppas, coaches and couches.