Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has launched ‘Smokefree May’ today at an event at Manurewa Marae.
This new campaign, developed with Hāpai Te Hauora, supports the Government’s plan to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025.
At the event, a new brand has also been unveiled for the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan, Auahi Kore Aotearoa Mahere Rautaki 2025.
“Aotearoa New Zealand has always observed World Smokefree Day on 31 May, but we recognise the need to celebrate our smokefree vision for more than a single day a year, so for the first time ever, we will focus on this mahi for the whole month of May,” says Dr Ayesha Verrall.
“The Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan I launched last year detailed measures that will help us reach our goal of making New Zealand smokefree in the next three years, saving thousands of lives. This is a priority of our Government, and throughout this month a range of activities will take place to promote a smokefree lifestyle.
“Budget 2021 committed almost $13 million over four years towards additional smokefree health promotion and community mobilisation. Community activators are on board across the motu and are supporting events happening within each of their regions for the whole month of May," says Verrall.
“The theme for this year’s Smokefree May is ‘We’re backing you’ – focusing on the team effort it takes to support whānau to quit smoking and stay smokefree, backed by our Government’s regulatory activities. The Smoke Free Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan makes sure that support is provided at all levels, including legislation.
“The new tohu or brand signifies the mana of the mahi we are doing together to improve the health of our communities. Thank you to Tātou’s Kaiārahi, Graham Tipene, for designing the original artwork.
“Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand and causes one in four cancers. Smoking-related harm is particularly prevalent in our Māori, Pacific and low-income communities. Our Action Plan will support all New Zealanders to quit smoking, or never start in the first place,” says Verrall.