Waikuku Beach General Store is paving the way in becoming the first dairy in the South Island to go smoke-free. Store owner, Cathy Farrell, explained that staff, customer and community safety compelled her to remove tobacco products from their shelves. In asking for feedback from their community, it was clear that she had significant support in going smoke-free, especially from those that smoke who said that the inconvenience of buying cigarettes would help them cut down.
Ms Farrell stated: "I don't want my staff, customers or community put at risk."
National Tobacco Control Advocacy General Manager, Mihi Blair, commends Ms Farrell for her courage in protecting her community. "I feel really inspired because it shows that we are all united in working towards putting the health and well-being of communities first. "We are all working towards the same goal; dairy owners, community members, and even those who smoke do not want tobacco sold in their neighbourhood and this community has taken ownership of this and this is an example of the change that is needed".
"We all applaud the actions of this dairy in taking this leading step. Their decision will create a safer environment for both the diary staff and the local community" says Vivien Daley, Manager of the Smoking Cessation Service Te Haa - Waitaha. "Anyone in the Waikuku area who smokes is invited to turn the inconvenience into an opportunity to bust the habit and register with our stop smoking service, Te Haa - Waitaha or with Quitline. Together we could make Waikuku smokefree."
Ms Farrell has joined a growing group of courageous dairy owners who have made the switch to going smoke-free because they want to put their communities first. Blair believes dairies should be applauded for their resilience in going smoke-free, despite opposition from the tobacco industry: "Before tobacco was introduced in Aotearoa, our public healthcare systems ensured the well-being of communities. We thank all dairies who are going smoke-free. They are helping their communities to thrive, and reminding us that we can live without tobacco."