National Māori Public Health organisation, Hāpai Te Hauora welcomes the implementation of a Smokefree Generation policy. Interim CEO Jason Alexandar of Hāpai Te Hauora says, ‘The world is looking to Aotearoa as we implement world leading Smokefree legislation. It comes at a pivotal time as we enter a 1-year countdown to 2025 with the nation’s goal to be Smokefree. This Smokefree generation policy will enable Aotearoa to protect tamariki from being addicted to this deadly product.’

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Act 2022 came into force on 1 January 2023. This amendment means that the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 (the Act) will restrict the sale of smoked tobacco products to a limited number of approved retail outlets and prohibit anyone from selling or supplying smoked tobacco products to people born on, or after, 1 January 2009. This is intended to significantly reduce retail availability and to create a ‘Smokefree Generation’ preventing current and future generations from ever taking up smoking.

Hāpai Te Hauora led the public consultation prior to the passing of the Act, to give whānau an opportunity to have their say through the public submission process. One wāhine Māori voiced that ‘A smokefree generation to me looks like a promised healthier future for family and obviously more kai in the cupboards and definitely less pollution, less sicknesses, less deaths.’

This reflects the overwhelming support for a Smokefree generation policy from Māori & Pacific whānau, rangatahi and people who currently smoke or are on their own quit journey. Our communities are desperate for changes to be made that protect the health of their whānau says Alexander.

Today Hāpai Te Hauora is launching a Smokefree Generation video sharing the attitudes and thoughts of rangatahi. Hāpai asked what a Smokefree generation policy would look like for them, and their understanding of the impact this will have to achieve a Smokefree 2025.

Alexander states, ‘Māori whānau & communities are in support of this implementation. The kōrero we are sharing enables our whānau to lead the narrative outlining the health & financial benefits of a Smokefree Generation policy. It will also support more of our whānau on their quit journey and protect lives from the harms of smoked tobacco in the future’.