Minister welcomes World Smokefree Day

Thursday 31 May 2012, 7:11PM

By Tariana Turia


Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tariana Turia, has welcomed World Smokefree Day today, a time to reflect and promote the message of smoking cessation “Quit now. It’s about whanau.”

Mrs Turia said “We have made significant progress towards our agenda of becoming Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 at a political level, and today is about remembering the journey of our whanau, and individuals who are on the pathway to giving up smoking.”

“The message, that ‘it’s about whanau’, is a wonderful reminder that we are all precious members of a family who bind us to our whakapapa, and that we have a role to play in supporting the best outcomes of our whanau.”

“It is also a reminder that as a whanau we have a responsibility to support those around us who want to quit smoking. It’s about whanau – it’s about all of us supporting one another.”

Smoking cessation is a key part of our strategy in moving us towards our aspirational goal of Smokefree Aotearoa 2025. The Government currently invests $18million into smoking cessation services, in addition to the subsidies on prescription medications and nicotine replacement therapy.

Mrs Turia said “we know that we need to be supporting a range of measures if we are to achieve our goal of becoming smokefree. While the focus has been on the increase of excise tax, and the agreement in principle to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products pending consultation, there are a number of other initiatives that we have in place to support our goal.”

“In July we will see tobacco displays removed from stores, our smoking cessation strategy that sits alongside these, and of course we are always looking at ways in which we can support our goal into the future.”

“The biggest difference however, needs to be made in our homes, and within our whanau. We need every New Zealander to recognise the importance of living a smokefree lifestyle, and to have the courage to not only say ‘quit now’ but to support each other to successfully achieve this goal.”

“It’s about whanau. It’s about preserving your whakapapa. It’s about your children and mokopuna. I welcome World Smokefree Day and encourage all of us to spread this message today, and into the future.”