We're a no-smoking zone says WDHB
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The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is marking World Smokefree Day (31 May) with a strong reminder that Wanganui Hospital is a no smoking zone.
 
Concerned by the number of patients and visitors who smoke while at the Wanganui Hospital site, the WDHB is reminding the community that smoking anywhere in the hospital buildings and grounds is strictly prohibited.
 
“Besides the fact that Wanganui Hospital is dedicated to treating the sick and unwell, we are concerned about the welfare of everyone who enters our grounds so we don’t want people smoking or having to breathe in second-hand smoke,” WDHB chief executive Julie Patterson says.
 
“The WDHB views World Smokefree Day as a good opportunity for people to reflect on why we have this policy and why it is important to support and respect it.”

Whanganui kohanga reo are also urging their community to embrace World Smokefree Day this year. Te Puawai O Te Aroha Kohanga Reo in Wanganui East is challenging every member of staff employed by the 30 plus Kohanga Reo within the Whanganui district to follow their example and become smokefree.
 
 Te Puawai O Te Aroha Kohanga Reo staff and children

The Te Puawai O Te Aroha Kohanga Reo’s seven staff members, who were all smokers, have now given up and two them, as recently as early this year.
 
WDHB tobacco control health promoter Desiree McLean says it’s taken enormous willpower on their part to quit but it’s their determination to set a good example for their tamariki that she finds particularly admirable.
 
“I believe they might be the only smokefree Kohanga Reo we have in the district so it would be wonderful to see more take on the challenge,” says Ms McLean.
 
“Knowing that the Government wants New Zealand to be smokefree by 2025, it’s heartening to see our educators taking this message on board and making every effort to provide positive role modeling for our tamariki.”
 
Ms McLean says in addition to designing a number of resources to highlight the need to give up smoking, three Te Puawai O Te Aroha Kohanga Reo staff members are now sharing their personal stories with their kohanga reo families. 
 
“While public speaking doesn’t come easy to some of them, they have become good communicators and their stories are reaching our parents in a meaningful way. Many want to give up smoking and the WDHB is working with the kohanga reo to do all it can to support them.”