Date: 29 May 2018
From: Bridget Rowse, Smokefree Advisor
Subject: World Smokefree May
Celebrate being smokefree in Northland this World Smokefree Day, May 31
New Zealand is moving closer to being smokefree and this World Smokefree Day is the perfect time to celebrate our
smokefree environments, places and whānau, said Bridget Rowse from Northland District Health Board.
“More and more New Zealanders are becoming smokefree or not taking up smoking at all. The most recent tobacco-use
figures show 84 percent [Health Promotion Agency 2017. NZ Health and Lifestyle Survey 2016] of New Zealanders do not
smoke, which is 4 percent more than in 2008. Importantly, fewer young people are starting to smoke with 96 percent of 15
to 17 year olds staying smokefree, which is a marked increase from 84 percent a decade ago [Ministry of Health, The New
Zealand Health Survey 2016/17].”
The number of totally smokefree workplaces is also increasing. More and more businesses are going over and above the
legal requirements and declaring all workspaces – including outdoor areas – to be smokefree, and helping employees
access stop smoking support. Northland’s local authorities are also showing strong leadership by declaring council-owned
parks, playgrounds and sports grounds to be smokefree.
“All this action is creating a New Zealand where being smokefree is normal, whether it’s in public, at work, or at home
with whānau. All of us, especially young people, are influenced by those around us, so if we don’t see people smoking we
are less likely to smoke ourselves,” Bridget said.
“Here in Northland there are so many smokefree success stories I’d love to celebrate. I congratulate those cafes that
participated in the Fresh Air Project Whangarei that now offer customers 100 percent smokefree outdoor dining.”
“Northland is just one area of New Zealand but similar action is happening all around the country. Collectively it all
moves the country closer to the Government’s goal of Smokefree Aotearoa 2025,” Bridget said.
“On May 31, World Smokefree Day, I encourage everyone to either celebrate being smokefree or encourage those who are not
smokefree to embrace the smokefree lifestyle.
Notes to reporter:
• For more information on World Smokefree Day, go to: www.worldsmokefreeday.org.nz
• World Smokefree Day was created by the World Health Organization in 1987. In other countries it is known as
World No Tobacco Day.
• Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services Northland 0508 TOKI RAU (0508 8654 728)