Tala Pasifika are backing ' World Smokefree May' all the way. The announcement from Hāpai Te Hauora declaring ' World Smokefree May' in the lead up the World Health Organisation's international celebration of 'World Smokefree Day' on Tuesday 31st May 2022. This will help to create talanoa and opportunities for Pasifika people in Aotearoa to make that life enhancing decision to be smokefree.
Tala Pasifika Director – Lealailepule Edward Cowley says 'Any and every opportunity for Pasifika communities and families to step away from tobacco products for good means a step closer to family prosperity'. We are blessed to be living in Aotearoa where we have a government showing their commitment & leadership by launching the Aotearoa Smokefree Action Plan. No other country in the world has a bold plan like ours, which will only serve to ultimately save lives of people we know, love and care for.
The month long 'World Smokefree May' theme was crafted by way of information gathering and support by young people to encompass their hopes and aspirations for their future. The theme 'We're Backing You' speaks directly to teamwork and a collective approach to this collective problem of tobacco use. This sits at the heart of the way Pasifika families and communities do things. It is an essential part of our beings and lies at the core in which we do things.
In celebration Hāpai Te Hauora have created events across social media and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) with the aim of encouraging those who are thinking about quitting to take the first step and put their plan into action. Hāpai Te Hauora is hosting a launch day for ‘ World Smokefree May’, on Saturday 30th April from 10am-2pm in partnership with Manurewa Marae and the Manurewa Marlins Rugby League Club, which will celebrate our tamariki and their aspirations to have a Smokefree Aotearoa. The event will also have kaimahi on site to offer information and resources on how to quit smoking, and how you can support whānau that are on their quitting journey, as well as kai, entertainment and a DJ.
Associate Professor El-Shadan Tautolo, Director of the AUT Pacific Health Research Centre says 'the evidence outlining the harms of tobacco for our Pasifika peoples is clear, so supporting new initiatives like World Smokefree May gives us a whole month of opportunities to create positive change. We are currently living in a time of history for Aotearoa where the support available for people to stop smoking is the strongest it's ever been. Let's make the most of that opportunity'.
World Smokefree May initiatives and activities will feature heavily on all Hāpai Te Hauora social media platforms and will feature the work of their new Community Activators who are working tirelessly on the ground in their regions right across Aotearoa. Sharing stories of people who have successfully quit smoking, tips and tricks to make your Stop Smoking Journey that much easier and debunking common misconceptions about quitting smoking, and Friday giveaways each week.
Mrs Maine Andrew-Ngariki, Deputy Chair for Pacific Health and Welfare Inc is in full support of backing families and communities to be Smokefree. "Our network of Pacific professionals have been long time supporters of backing our loved ones to be Smokefree! Aotearoa will be such a thriving place when our anau, aiga, famili and magafaoa are Smokefree and driving more change for healthier options in our communities. It is a powerful step for our country when policies and collective efforts create that systematic change to achieve amazing goals like Smokefree 2025", says Andrew-Ngariki.
Future generations of Pasifika peoples in Aotearoa will prosper with 'We're backing you' and Tala Pasifika are there to 'back you too'