Have your say on World No-Smoke Day
World No-Smoke Day is approaching Monday, May 31, and the NZ Asthma and Respiratory Tract Foundation (ARFNZ) is encouraging Kiwis to have their say on the government’s action plan for a 2025 smoke-free program. consultation on the plan ends on Monday at 5 p.m. – you can have your say in consult.health.govt.nz/tobacco-control/smokefree2025-actionplan.
“The theme for this year’s World No Smoking Day is the Commitment to Quit Smoking,” says Letitia Harding, Executive Director of ARFNZ. “ARFNZ believes that the bold action proposed in the government’s action plan will encourage Kiwis to give up this habit and this is exactly what we need to achieve the 2025 smoke-free target.”
ARFNZ was delighted to see that the government committed over $ 36 million to Smoke Free 2025 in last week’s budget. This money will be used for health promotion and social marketing campaigns to support the smoke-free goal.
“The journey to quitting can be difficult, and smokers need comprehensive and culturally appropriate support services to help them quit,” says Letitia. “There is a need for targeted support for groups where smoking rates remain high, such as Maori and Pacific communities.”
Smoking is a major contributor to health inequalities, and smoking rates remain high in some groups. Maori adults are almost three times more likely than non-Maori to be smokers, and people living in economically disadvantaged areas are 4.5 times more likely to smoke than those living in wealthier areas.
Achieving the 2025 smoke-free target will dramatically reduce preventable disease and death in these groups, and help reduce health inequalities.
“We need to tackle two key issues that remain unanswered: the widespread availability of tobacco products in dairies, gas stations, convenience stores and supermarkets across the country, and an increase in services and support for the ‘quitting smoking,’ Letitia says. “We are supporting a drastic reduction in the retail availability of smoked tobacco products and the elimination of nicotine from these products to make it easier for people to get rid of the habit. Reaching the Smoke Free 2025 ambition will be extremely difficult. but it is achievable if these bold comprehensive actions are implemented quickly. ”
The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation New Zealand supports the respiratory health of New Zealanders through research, education and advocacy. Learn more about asthmafoundation.org.nz