In a first for a Gull petrol station, Kaukapakapa branch owner, Brett Peachy, has today pledged that tobacco will no longer be sold at his petrol station. This momentous decision has come in response to community calls to reduce the availability of tobacco in their neighborhood. Mr Peachey signed the Tupeka Kore Smokefree pledge today, on World Smokefree Day, alongside other community groups and businesses. This pledge centers on organisations committing to initiatives that support their communities in becoming smokefree.
This will make Mr Peachy’s branch the first Gull petrol station in the country to not sell tobacco. He states, "We did this for our community. We might have taken a hit financially, but when you’ve got friends and community members saying they want to quit smoking, it didn’t feel right to be the one supplying it. Luckily we’ve had no complaints and I think customers who come in looking for smokes are still happy to be given the complementary chocolate fish instead!".
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua Māori Public Health Coordinator and Kaukapakapa local, Marama Pairama, worked with the petrol station to become smokefree. Ms Pairama states, "The whole community is behind Brett and Julie. I’ve been living here in this community for ten years and this is a massive step".
Hāpai Te Hauora and the Cancer Society of New Zealand have used this month to start a national conversation around tobacco supply in our communities and are promoting the pledge as part of its new campaign ‘Stop the Stock’. Mihi Blair, Hāpai General Manager for Tobacco Control states, "If the problem for smoking rates lies in the excess supply that our communities are exposed to, then that’s where we’ll find our solution. Gull Kaukapakapa is one business who has started the movement by pledging to support the smokefree kaupapa. We also know Progressive Enterprises have been vocal in their commitment to the Smokefree 2025 goal through supplying harm reduction products. If grocery and petrol companies want to be on the right side of history, they would be taking this a step further and also committing to reducing their tobacco supply."
Ms Blair also acknowledged the stance of Mr Peachy from Gull Kaukapakapa and the role of Ms Pairama in supporting him, saying "This is a testament to the power of Māori leadership to enable smokefree communities."