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World Smokefree Day: Southern DHB wants you to pass on your Mātauranga (knowledge)

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Its World Smokefree day on 31 May and Southern DHB’s Smokefree team are celebrating Smokefree environments, places and whānau.  Usually out and about in the community during May with coalition partners from Smokefree Otago, this year the team had to make changes and are going virtual.

“Encouraged by how creative people have been during the lockdown period, especially on social media, it inspired us to create a video chain message to celebrate Smokefree lives and environments,” says Debby Newton, Southern DHB Smokefree Coordinator. A call out was made for people to pass on their mātauranga (knowledge) with a video message that conveys the benefits of being Smokefree - for our environment and our youth. There was a great response and the final video will be launched 31 May on the Smokefree South Facebook’s page.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products has been identified as the single most preventable cause of disease and death in New Zealand. As a provider of health services in the Southern district, Southern DHB is committed to providing leadership to reduce smoking-related morbidity and mortality in the community and normalise Smokefree for staff, patients and the community.

The majority of New Zealanders (nearly 84%) are Smokefree, and creating Smokefree spaces is worth celebrating! The New Zealand Government set a goal of being a Smokefree nation to support the health and wellbeing of our families and whanau – so that by 2025 fewer than 5% of New Zealanders will smoke. Many councils and employers are showing good manaakitanga (respect, support and care) by providing Smokefree public spaces and support for smokefree workforces.

Southern DHB would also like to take this opportunity to celebrate the passing of the Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill. Southern DHB Smokefree Coordinator, Megan Barrett says “This is fabulous for NZ/Aotearoa and our tamariki, who often don’t have a voice or a choice in who smokes around them, so may be exposed to the harms of second-hand smoke.”

For more information for individuals about becoming smokefree, contact the Southern Stop Smoking Service. The service is free and to get in touch with them phone (03) 214 5260 or free phone 0800 925 242, email the service at, or refer online at

For further information, please contact:
Southern DHB Communications Advisor Pauline Chin,