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Tina TeTau hands smokefree legacy to granddaughter

Tina TeTau hands smokefree legacy to granddaughter

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Current photo of Tina and Rickayah

Media Release

Date: 21 May 2008
Subject: Still smokefree

11 years ago this month, Tina Te Tau-brown gave up smoking for the 8th time.

“I’d been smoking for about 25 years and I started at aged 12 or 13,” she grimaces. “I’ve been smokefree ever since then. I had planned to give up on Mother’s Day, because I found out I was going to be a nanny. I really wanted be around for my mokopuna, and I found I was ready to quit. That’s what made the big difference. I finally really made the decision, and I stuck to it.”

10 years ago, the fledgling organisation Whaiora Whanui, masterminded by Janice Wenn, was about to both move offices and start a campaign around improving Maori health. Smoking rates for Maori were of major concern, and Tina was asked to be a ‘poster girl’ for the campaign, with her then 1 year old granddaughter Rickiyah in her arms. Posing in the carved doorway of Te Ore Ore marae, they proudly beamed out the smokefree message.

The world has turned full circle, and 10 years later Tina has just been appointed the new smoking cessation coach at Wairarapa Hospital. “I knew I’d be a good candidate for the job,” says Tina. “I know just how hard it can be to give up, having tried so many times. I went cold turkey, so I know how helpful it could be to have a coach to help you stay on track. For me, I managed to turn it around from a feeling of giving something up, to a feeling of gaining something – my future with my grandchildren.”

Granddaughter Rickiyah was delighted to pose with here nanny for an updated photo – and she’s very clear that she will never become a smoker!


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