Hāpai Te Hauora are the new National Tobacco Control Advocacy service, the single advocacy service funded by the Ministry of Health. The organisation held its first National Tobacco Advisory Group meeting to discuss national coordination and communication in a new tobacco control environment since the tobacco control realignment. The Advisory Group consists of medical doctors, researchers, lawyers, project evaluators and Pacific and Māori health leaders.
Zoe Martin-Hawke, General Manager says “We were thrilled to be able to bring together the wealth of knowledge held by Advisory Board members to support the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal.”
The group discussed strategy, policy, communication, community action, and marketing to reduce the supply of tobacco in New Zealand. Advisory Board members will be key partners in the Hāpai Advocacy Service and through our combined influence and expertise we believe we can strengthen the next stage of tobacco control in New Zealand.
One of the key elements for the next stage is to address the substantial supply of cigarettes across New Zealand in every community. Mrs. Hawke says “we are exploring options by which to disrupt the supply of cigarettes to our families, not just simply licensing or asking for a registration of those who sell cigarettes to children or adults. It is illegal to sell cigarettes to children but this is still occurring so we need to think about how we create environments that will stop these sales. We also need to get better at supporting our pregnant mothers who are desperate to stop smoking, having less opportunities around to buy tobacco will provide a much needed safety net and environmental support system for them”
Smokefree 2025 is the government’s goal for New Zealand to reach its lowest levels of smoking rates. Hāpai aims to increase opportunists for the communities we serve to enjoy good health and to be sustained by healthy environments. Hawke says “this is why we want to focus on reducing supply”. Hāpai aim to do this by providing a strategic focus that is underpinned by evidence based research for the advancement of health and well-being for all.