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HBDHB Sending Its Smokefree Message Skywards

HBDHB Sending Its Smokefree Message Skywards

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is marking World Smokefree Day on Monday 31st May with a number of celebrations including the release of helium filled balloons complete with the smokefree message from Hawke’s Bay Hospital in Hastings. Wairoa, Napier, and Central Hawke’s Bay health centres are decorating their facilities with balloons. 250 balloons were donated by the Health Sponsorship Council, Wellington.

The theme this year is second-hand smoke and in particular the risks of smoking in the home. The Health Sponsorship Council have run two television campaigns over the last two months. One focuses on how the chemicals found in second-hand smoke affect children, the second illustrates how adults can protect children from the dangers of second-hand smoke by smoking outside.

Appropriately 31st May marks the day Hawke’s Bay District Health Board buildings, grounds and vehicles go smokefree. This follows a three-month transition period during which staff, patients and the public have been progressively informed of the new policy which is effective 1st June.
Chief operating officer, Ray Lind, says creating smokefree sites is a priority for Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and supports the Government’s New Zealand Health Strategy. “Every year smoking-related disease hospitalises around 3500 Hawke’s Bay people and costs this DHB over $9 million dollars. Imagine if we could decrease that figure by even 5% - that would mean 175 people living a healthier life and more health dollars that could be spent elsewhere. For example, with an extra $450,000 we could provide hip replacement surgery to 45 people,” Mr Lind said.

To mark the day, celebrations will be held at all sites at 12 noon on Monday 31st May. The DHB celebrations have community support with Pak’n’Save Hastings, Te Awa Farm Winery and Peter Dunkerley Amcal Pharmacy all donating gift vouchers as prizes for staff. All staff were included in an electronic draw, with three winners to be announced at midday on Monday.

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