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World Smokefree May In Aotearoa: Tihei Mauri Ora!

Since the Smokefree goal was set by government in 2011, 65,000 people have died from smoking related illnesses in Aotearoa. Sue Taylor, Chairperson for Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore says “As we approach Smokefree 2025 we remember our loved ones”.

World Smokefree May 2024 has begun and Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore are dedicated more than ever to advocate for whānau and communities across the nation to ensure another generation of Māori do not fall victim to the effects of big tobacco.

On the 1st May, Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore supported the launch for Auahitūroa, a eulogy to tobacco, in Wellington. Auahitūroa is a traveling art exhibition, led by local artists in collaboration with Hāpai Te Hauora, which aims to bid farewell to smoking once and for all. It ignited stimulating reflections of what has been and what futures could be, revitalising the drive to protect our whānau, hapū, and iwi."

Sue Taylor says “We are the voice of our mokopuna and generations to come. We all have the right to fresh air, clear lungs, and bright, healthy futures. We want to stop the legacy of harmful tobacco products that have been handed down over the generations. World Smokefree May is just one of the initiatives everyone can be involved in which promotes smokefree futures which seeks to keep vape free and smokefree messaging at the forefront”.

Aspire Aotearoa, Co-director, Anaru Waa says “Evidence and research continue to illustrate the harms that smoking and vaping have on both short and long-term health outcomes. Tobacco has stolen lives from our past generations, does so today, and will continue to do so into the future. What actions we take now can change this.”

Smokefree 2025 is a goal set by our government, but it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure we reach it. We should not wait for anyone to save us; we must take charge of our own health outcomes. We are the leaders of our mana motuhake!

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