WDHB celebrates World Smokefree Day

25 May 2014

The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is marking this year’s World Smokefree Day (Sunday 31 May) with a reminder to residents that Whanganui’s central business district (CBD) and parks and playgrounds are smokefree.
WDHB health promoter and the Te Hunga Tupeka Kore Network Group (smokefree action group comprised of local health provider representatives) member Desiree Mclean says to celebrate World Smokefree Day and reinforce the smokefree message, quit coaches and support personnel are setting up stalls in Whanganui and the district’s rural communities to encourage those still smoking to seek support to quit.
On Thursday 28 May between 10am and 2pm, key smokefree messages and the opportunity to participate in a survey will be available at Trafalgar Square.  Then the same smokefree messages, survey and a smokefree car display will be found in Majestic Square on Friday 29 May between 10am and 2pm.
In the rural district, the timetable is:
Wednesday 27 May, 10am-2pm, a smokefree car display will feature in Taihape
Thursday 28 May, 10am -2pm, Marton will host a smokefree car display
Ms Mclean says this year’s World Smokefree Day is all about creating environments where children are free from exposure to tobacco while also encouraging and supporting friends, families and whānau across New Zealand to quit.

“Parents, whānau and caregivers can make positive changes to the environment children are growing up in, even if they do smoke,” says Ms Mclean. “Talking to your children about smoking and establishing smokefree rules such as, not smoking around children and keeping the house smokefree is a great start. Add in keeping our cars smokefree for our children and we are moving in the right direction.”

“I’m really hoping our community will make the most of the opportunity to come down and meet with our quit coaches and take the time to talk to network group members about the survey and giving up smoking,” Ms Mclean says. “Quit coaches will be on site throughout the time we are at Trafalgar Square.

“A vehicle and smoke machine will abe set up as part of the Majestic Square display to show how smoke can travel through a vehicle,” says Ms Mclean. “The smoking simulation was very successful when we featured it at last year’s World Smokefree Day promotion.

“People learn that winding down a window does not disperse enough smoke to protect children as the toxins hang around for a few days, not just moments. “We know most parents do not want to expose children to smoking.
“Aside from the effects of second-hand smoke, research shows that a child whose parents smoked, is three times more likely to smoke themselves because they perceive it as normal.”

Ms Mclean says children who are exposed to, and breathe in, second-hand smoke are more likely to develop illnesses such as chest infections, glue ear and asthma. She views World Smokefree Day as a perfect opportunity to work together to achieve the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal, encouraging and supporting more people to quit and create a future in which today’s children and their children will enjoy tobacco-free lives.