Smokefree messaging to youth key to keeping HB smoking rates low

Smokefree messaging to youth key to keeping HB smoking rates low
23 July 2018

By Julie Shaw
Member of the Hawke’s Bay Smokefree Coalition

I have been part of the Hawke’s Bay Smokefree Coalition since I started with Breathe Hawke’s Bay, nearly eight years ago. Over this time the coalition has gained in strength and membership.

We meet on a bi-monthly basis and during my time with the group we have completed many health promotion events, written submissions to council and government and supported other members events. Each year, May is World Smokefree Month and this year a subcommittee of the coalition developed a programme of various events to be held across the region.

Johanna Wilson, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Smokefree Programmes Manager and Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Smokefree Coalition, explains why these events are important.

Results from the ASH Year 10 Survey 2017 Report  show 2.7% of Year 10 students in Hawke’s Bay report daily smoking which means 96% of 15 to 17 year olds are smokefree. This is  a marked increase from 84% ten years earlier. It’s critical we keep encouraging young New Zealanders to stay smokefree.  For the second year in a row, the Hawke’s Bay Smokefree Coalition and Taylor Hawks Basketball team have partnered up promoting “Stop Before You Start”, with school children in Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay during World Smokefree Month.  This involved a collaboration approach of health services and sportsmen to get the smokefree message across in a fun and interactive way.  Combining basketball drills, games and smokefree key messages won the day for the school children, teachers, parents, health professionals and players.”

Our Respiratory Nurse Educator Debbie Scott, went along to the Smokefree event where 193 students from six Wairoa schools attended. As Johanna pointed out, using sport to get the smokefree message across meant an enjoyable day was had by all.

Call us at BHB if you would like to know more about the coalition or would like us to provide free smokefree and respiratory health education at your upcoming event. Phone 06 835 0018.

If you or someone in your family want to become smokefree, give our office a call on the number above to make an appointment with one of our respiratory nurse educators who are quit card providers. Or check out