Te Hiku Hauora’s Aukati Kaipaipa (Stop Smoking) team held a successful event on May 31 to mark World Smokefree Day.

The free community event raised awareness around the health burden of smoking and reducing exposure to second-hand smoke, especially to tamariki. The protection of children and future generations from the harmful effects of smoking and smoking related diseases is central to the smoke free kaupapa.

It was also aimed at non-smokers to encourage and provide them with advice and information on how they can support whanau who are attempting to quit smoking.

The event was well attended by youth from local tertiary courses and secondary schools including a special performance from Pukemiro Kapa Haka group.

DJ Venom did a fantastic job, spinning tracks and entertaining visitors with his trademark sounds.

A number of visitors to the event enrolled on the programme to become smoke free, including a young mum who enrolled on the programme with the great support from her young daughter.

There was a fantastic turn out from community groups such as Ngati Kahu Health Trust, Kids Kingdom, Whakawhiti Ora Pai, Ahi Kaa, Te Hiku Youth Services and Te Hiku Hauora mobile nursing team.

Mana Party candidate, Hone Harawira delivered a motivational speech to the youth on the effects of smoking, not only on the individual and their whanau, but on the health system and the tobacco industry.

Healthy wraps and water were made available free to the public.

“Celebrating World Smoke Free Day here in Kaitaia is an awesome opportunity for the community to come together to support a kaupapa that can directly contribute to the health of our whanau” says Health Promotion Manager, Cathy Cherrington.

“If just one individual enrols on our programme to stop smoking, then that’s a step in the right direction for improving their own health and that of their whanau. I’m excited to say that a number of our whanau took up that opportunity today.”