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Aotearoa smokefree strategy a “full house in order”

Aotearoa smokefree strategy a “full house in order”

And a full house beats a pair…

Smokefree Coalition media release, 3 October 2011

Smokefree Coalition Executive Director Dr Prudence Stone says the tobacco control sector’s smokefree Aotearoa strategy is a “full house in order” and that it can beat the government’s commitment to making New Zealand Smokefree in 2025 by five years.

Dr Stone will be presenting a public lecture today on the Smokefree Coalition’s Vision and strategy for getting the number of New Zealanders who smoke down to less than 5 percent of the population – what government calls “essentially smokefree”. Currently just under 20 percent are smokers.

“We encouraged the Maori Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into the tobacco industry and the consequences of tobacco use for Maori to recommend the government set a date for tobacco’s endgame in Aotearoa,” Dr Stone says.

“As a result, the Select Committee recommended a pair of dates: a smokefree nation by 2025, but a halving of smoking rates by 2015.”

Dr Stone’s lecture will summarise the government’s response to all 42 recommendations in the Maori Affairs Inquiry report, and explain how the Smokefree Coalition’s strategic document, Achieving the Vision, will help the sector benchmark progress.

“Now that there is a government commitment to our Vision on parliamentary record, it is about partnership and ongoing consultation between our sector, the health workforce, government leaders and officials, and the national community. Our strategic Vision document is the way we can all hold each other accountable.”

Dr Stone is inviting all community leaders and champions to come to the lecture, especially local government members and social service providers. Polling last year confirmed a majority of New Zealanders now support the vision of a smokefree New Zealand by 2020 along with laws to protect children from tobacco industry advertising and second-hand smoke.

“As a nation we’re almost there. We are 80 percent smokefree, with 80 percent of current smokers wanting to quit. But we need to revive the emphasis on preventing our children from being recruited by the tobacco industry as replacement smokers and into a life-long addiction.”

Dr Stone’s lecture begins at Noon in the Liggins Theatre at Greenlane Clinical Centre in One Tree Hill, and is open to the public.


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