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Quit for your kids on World Smokefree Day

19 May 2006

Quit for your kids on World Smokefree Day

Health organisations are calling on smokers in the Lakes region to quit smoking for their kids as part of World Smokefree Day celebrations on 31 May 2006. They are Toi Te Ora Public Health, Cancer Society, Korowai Aroha, Te Whare Hauora O Ngongataha, Tipu Ora Trust, Heart Foundation and Te Papatakaro O Te Arawa.

This year’s smokefree wish is for parents and family to stop smoking in front of young people because children who see their parents smoking are more than twice as likely to become smokers later. (Tobacco Contol 1998;7:268-275)

Toi Te Ora – Public Health Health Promoter Kathy Webster says taking the smoke outside to protect children from second-hand smoke is a good start, but quitting sends an even more powerful message to children.

“Kids learn by watching adults,” she says. “Most parents want the best for their children and parents are powerful role models.”

Mrs Webster says quitting smoking is one of the best gifts that parents can give their children and World Smokefree Day is a key date for people to focus on planning a quit attempt.

“I don’t believe any parent wants their child to start smoking and face the increased risk of lung cancer, heart attack or blindness,” she says. “All parents want the best for their children and they can make a real difference by not smoking around them.”

Local cessation providers include Kororwai Aroha (07 3488454) and Te Whare Hauora O Ngongataha (07 3574946). New Zealand’s national Quitline, 0800 778 778, offers free advice, support and low cost nicotine patches and gum.

Local schools are involved in a banner and jingle competition as part of World Smokefree Day. Toi Te Ora – Public Health, Korowai Aroha, Cancer Society and (list names) have asked intermediate school and high school students to develop a 30 second jingle and/or create a banner with a smokefree message.

Each school can submit as many banners and jingles as they wish. People can vote for their favourite banner at City Focus (Rotorua) on 31 May 2006, between 1pm-4pm. The banner winners will be announced at 4:30pm. Jingles will be judged by a local musician, with the winning jingle being played at City Focus.


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