World Smokefree Day (WSFD) is celebrated at the end of May and is a great time to remind New Zealanders that we are still working towards a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025.

Last year, both the Cancer Society and Hāpai te Hauora used the month of May to bring attention to tobacco supply in our communities with a postcard petition and the “Stop the Stock” initiative. The intention of these campaigns centred on raising awareness that tobacco availability normalises consumption, prevents cessation, and encourages rangatahi uptake. Tobacco is also promoted and sold by an industry that needs to recruit the young to maintain their profits. Hāpai has continued this momentum towards supply reduction by embarking on a haerenga this year, where they have travelled across the motu learning about the priorities of communities affected by tobacco supply.  The Cancer Society has also been talking with local communities about this issue over the last few years at Relay For Life events nationwide.

The success of this pilot initiative demonstrated the need for community mobilisation in the tobacco control sector and the benefits of harnessing the existing strengths of communities to create a ground swell in supply reduction. It also reinforced the need for Māori-led initiatives as what is good for Māori is good for all. As such, Hāpai te Hauora with the Cancer Society will be inheriting the WSFD campaign role this year, previously held by the Health Promotion Agency (HPA).

Both groups plan to use May 2019 as a platform to encourage a wider national conversation around tobacco supply. Hāpai Te Hauora and Cancer Society are encouraging a focus on tobacco supply – and it would be great if you could join us in promoting:

While this does not preclude/exclude other local opportunities and initiatives, current plans for 2019 WSFD include:

Like the ever evolving communities we serve, we believe in the sector’s need to remain adaptive to changing as our priorities do. We are excited about the potential for growth that will come from this new partnership, and the benefits that our communities will reap from an initiative that is whānau-focused and community driven.

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