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Company Signs Pledge To Support Staff To A Smokefree World

One of NZ’s most successful civil contractors knows the health of its workforce is a top priority. To celebrate World Smokefree Day 2020, Dempsey Wood will sign a pledge on Wednesday 2 June with specialist quit smoking service Ready Steady Quit to become a smokefree workplace by 2025.

“It’s fantastic to see a large company like Dempsey Wood leading the way by making a real commitment to the health and wellbeing of their staff and wider whānau” says Mihi Blair, Operations Manager, Ready Steady Quit. “The traditional smoko-break has been a kiwi institution in the construction industry and it takes real commitment from the very top of organisations to support their employees to become smoke free and foster a positive and healthy workplace environment.”

Blair confirms that 34% of Māori and Pacific work in site-based roles and with smoking rates for Māori and Pacific higher than non-Māori and non-Pacific it makes sense to provide support to a smokefree life in the workplace. “It would be great if other industries followed Dempsey Wood’s example.”

“Our team here at Dempsey Wood are family, so helping support a healthy environment is a must for us. We’ve had a focus on health and the wellbeing of our workforce for a long time and signing this pledge is an extension of that commitment” says Conal Dempsey, Managing Director.

“Creating policies that reflect our commitment is also important, we’ll support our people in the workplace with access to quit coaching sessions during work hours (rather than having to use lunch times or breaks) access to nicotine replacement therapy, a recognition programme for those that are successful and a workplace environment that supports them to remain smokefree into the future.

Dempsey Wood’s pledge will contribute towards New Zealand Government’s goal of being a smokefree nation and having 5% fewer New Zealanders smoking by 2025.

The pledge builds on the work Dempsey Wood has done over the past few years to support its team in becoming smokefree.

One staff member who is pleased to have kicked the habit is Penny Tuhoro. Penny had been smoking for 38 years, starting at the tender age of 11 and although she had tried quitting on several occasions she found the cravings set in very quickly so could not see it through, despite wanting to be smokefree for her children.

Penny says “What really made the difference for me giving up was having the support of my employer and being able to get quit coaching at work, it meant I didn’t have to attend an appointment outside of work hours when I’m busy with kids. It was also fun doing it with my work mates, we encouraged each other.

My work mates forget I don't smoke, they still shout Pen gotta ciggy, gotta light, gotta filter, gotta paper? And now I just say, gotta give it up cuz!”

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