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Source: Hapai Te Hauora

Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore(End Tobacco Group) are committed to advocating the ending of tobacco sales, a “ngāngara product” that disproportionately effects the health of tangata Māori for World Smoke-Free Day May 31st, 2023.
The theme for this year’s World Smoke-Free Day in Aotearoa is “Were Backing You”, which highlights the value of whanaungatanga and the wrap-around support and services people often need to support their quit smoking attempt successfully.
At one end of the spectrum Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore are advocating for whānau ora approaches to support whānau to make better choices for themselves, our tamariki and our mokopuna, by accessing the support from whānau and the services who are committed to supporting them on their quit journey. While on the other hand, we are in a political war against Big Tobacco and the industries and retailers who sell and distribute this ngāngara to our whānau.
Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore aims to expose the sinister acts of the tobacco industry, and eliminate tobacco harms in our communities by advocating for stronger tobacco control policies to protect future generations.
Catherine Manning, co-spokesperson for Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore says “This is an addiction that has taken the lives of too many of our people”. “We understand the challenges that our whānau are going through, who the majority wished they had never started, and would quit if they could”
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, causing six million deaths annually. In New Zealand, smoking rates have declined over the years but still remain high, especially among Māori communities. According to recent data in 2020/2021, Māori women still 26.2%, which is significantly higher than the smoking rate for non-Māori women 10.3%, and the overall population at 12.6%.
Anaru Waa, co-spokesperson for Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore says “Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health and the health of those around you.” “World Smoke-Free Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and encourage people who smoke to quit for good.”
Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora have a large range of free Stop Smoking Services(SSS) available, offering access to free nicotine replacement therapy(NRT) and wrap around services. Hāpai Te Hauora recently launched TUA-Hine and Tāne chatbots, an online tool designed to be available 24/7 to tautoko your quit smoking journey.
Charlie Poihipi from Hāpai Te Hauora, and member of Te Rōpū Tupeka Kore says “becoming smokefree is about protecting our Hā(the air we breathe), protecting our whakapapa, protecting our whānau”
“We encourage all our whānau to take this opportunity to reach out to the range of different services, and make the committment to quit and take advantage of the support available to them,” said Catherine Manning. “We believe that everyone has the whakapapa right to breathe fresh air and to live free from the harms that the Tobacco Industry and all of their addictions they push upon our people”