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Smokefree Message Goes Mobile In Waitemata

26 May 2004

Smokefree Message Goes Mobile In Waitemata

Waitemata District Health Board’s newly branded smokefree car will hit the streets next Monday to mark World Smokefree Day – May 31st.

With assistance from the Health Sponsorship Council, an existing Waitemata DHB vehicle has been transformed with the application of smokefree signage.

Text on the car encourages people to go smokefree to protect themselves and those around them.

Waitemata DHB Public Health Physician Dr Robyn Whittaker says the car is used in and around the Waitemata district and she hopes it will reinforce the smokefree message.

“The car will be visible in the community and we hope it reminds people that being smokefree is a healthy choice they can make for themselves and their families.”

Health Sponsorship Council Director Iain Potter says the visibility of the car is a key reason his organisation was happy to lend its support.

“It’s important that people see the smokefree message in their own community as well as on television and in the media,” he says. MORE…

The car sports the Quit Organisation’s web address and 0800 number so people know where they can get support if they are ready to stop smoking.

Smokefree Project Co-Leader and Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Waitemata DHB, Jocelyn Peach, says the car is also a visible reminder that people can expect a smokefree environment when they visit DHB sites like North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals.

“Every DHB in the country is working toward going smokefree. It’s something we can do to really try and impact positively on our community’s health and reduce some of the strain smoking-related illness puts on health resources.”

Waitemata DHB will also mark World Smokefree Day by erecting smokefree banners on seven of its sites – including North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals - and offering smokefree stickers.

The focus of World Smokefree Day 2004 is on smokefree environments like homes and cars that reduce the damage second-hand smoke can do to people’s health – especially children.

Second-hand smoke contains over 200 toxic chemicals such as cyanide and arsenic and can cause asthma, glue ear and cot death in children.

Waitemata’s new Smoking Cessation Co-ordinator Claire Thompson says more than 3700 New Zealanders are hospitalised every year due to second-hand smoke.

“With such a significant number of people affected, it’s fundamental that we protect people from second-hand smoke, especially children.” MORE…

Ms Thompson is currently establishing a Smoking Cessation Service to help patients wanting to stop smoking – especially those with chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

World Smokefree Day takes place on May 31st every year and has been recognised in New Zealand since the mid-90s.


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