Community organisation first recipient of Smokefree Award
27 May 2014
World Smokefree Day 2014: Community organisation first recipient of Smokefree Award
With World Smokefree Day this Saturday, 31 May, Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is celebrating those workplaces that are helping New Zealand towards a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025.
ARPHS’ new Heartbeat Challenge Smokefree Award will recognise those workplaces that successfully develop and implement a 100 percent smokefree environment policy. These policies require no smoking at any time or anywhere at the workplace, and apply to all staff, contractors, visitors and anyone else on site.
ARPHS presented this award yesterday to its first recipient, Crossroads Clubhouse. Crossroads provides adults, whose lives have been disrupted by mental illness, with opportunities to make new connections, find employment and get their lives back on track.
Crossroads received their award from ARPHS Medical Officer of Health Dr Brad Novak at a special morning tea at the clubhouse.
“The Census 2013 results show a 5.6% drop in smoking rates since 2006,” says Dr Novak. “This decrease would never have happened without the efforts of community organisations like Crossroads leading the way.”
Crossroads Clubhouse director, Stephen Hart, says that since becoming smokefree in October 2011 the clubhouse has seen a number of benefits.
“Being smokefree fits in with our goal to promote the health of our members, both physically and mentally,” says Stephen. “Some smokers have commented that they actually smoked less once the smokefree policy was implemented.”
To become smokefree, Crossroads needed some outside support, which ARPHS was happy to provide.
“The ARPHS Smokefree Coordinator”, says Stephen, “provided smokefree signage and helped us prepare for some of the challenges we expected to face. In addition, the Heart Foundation provided Smoking Cessation Practitioner training.”
Adds Dr Novak, “a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025 can be a reality if we work together, in our schools, communities and workplaces, to create positive environments. Crossroads Clubhouse has shown what is possible, and I invite other workplaces to follow their example.”
Auckland Regional Public Health Service is proud to provide support and coordination for World Smokefree Day in Auckland. For more information on the day, and for a summary of events in the region, go to www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/alcohol-tobacco/arphs-smokefree/smokefree-projects/world-smokefree-day-31st-may.