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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Hapai Te Hauora
World Smokefree Day is a timely reminder that as a nation we need to paddle together with urgency if we want our Pasifika communities to be Smokefree by 2025.
Tala Pasifika Director – Lealailepule Edward Cowley says “Any and every opportunity for our Pasifika communities and families to step away from tobacco products for good, means a step closer to family prosperity”.
We need to have a major decline in our Pasifika and Māori smoking rates to win the race to be Smokefree by 2025. The initiatives which will be a game changer for our Pasifika communities include making smokes less available by having fewer places to buy tobacco, especially in our poorer communities. We need to make smokes less attractive by getting rid of flavours and filters; and less addictive by significantly lowering the nicotine levels in cigarettes, says Cowley.
As part of the international celebrations for World Smokefree Day, and as we bring to a close the inaugural Aotearoa World Smokefree May – Hāpai Te Hauora is currently hosting the National SUDI Prevention and Tobacco Control Conference in Rotorua. This is an opportunity for our researchers, experts, community leaders, stop smoking practitioners, health practitioners and allies to identify, talanoa to further align best practice to reduce our SUDI rates and to support the much decline in smoking rates particularly for Pasifika and Māori communities.
Today we also celebrate the launch of Ōlaōla (Or-la-or-la); a FREE digital smokefree chatbot created by the Pacific Health and Welfare Network (PHW) for Pasifika peoples in Aotearoa. This tool has been specifically designed to support Pasifika people to access stop smoking support online via a Facebook messenger chatbot named Ōla.
Dr El-Shadan Tautolo, chair of PHW, was pleased to present Ōlaōla on World Smokefree Day to mark a transition in Smokefree services in a world where people increasingly live and access more online support.
A key focus in the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan is increasing health promotion and community mobilisation. Hāpai Te Hauora announced the launch of a Smokefree Activation Grant fund. “The purpose of these grants is to create more health promotion and community activities to mobilise our people to get behind the Smokefree goal and encourage more quit attempts with support,” says Selah Hart, CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora.
“We are extremely supportive of this investment and know that our Pasifika peoples naturally know how to mobilise our communities. These grants provide further opportunity to inject more Smokefree activations highlighting leadership from within our Pasifika communities to champion Smokefree initiatives both locally and regionally throughout the motu,” says Cowley.
With the aptly themed ‘We’re Backing You’ we want future generations of Pasifika peoples to thrive and prosper and know that Tala Pasifika are there to ‘Back You Too’.