Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services launched its new ‘STINK’ campaign last week aimed at raising awareness of the stop smoking services in Northland in time for the New Year Resolutions and the tobacco excise tax increase on 1 January 2019. The campaign uses humour to depict everyday situations where ‘comical accidents’ may happen that would evoke an “Awww Stink!” reaction.  Four 30-second videos will be released throughout the 6-month online campaign.  The adverts, filmed by Big Fish Creative in Whangarei, reflect a laid-back style, using local actors to represent everyday Northlanders, in everyday situations that maybe common among our whānau who smoke. “We wanted to produce something with a nod to Taika Waititi’s humour, that Tai Tokerau whānau could relate to and would raise awareness of our stop smoking services,” says Bridget Rowse, Smokefree Advisor Northland District Health Board. Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services provide a FREE Northland wide stop smoking service offering face-to-face support which can be provided in an individual, whānau/family or group setting, with eight sites across Tai Tokerau.  Providing FREE nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to support you on your journey to quit/become smokefree.  To get help to stop smoking call Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services 0508 TOKI RAU (0508 8651 728).​


Every year thousands of kiwis escape their working lives for a few weeks for a summer holiday – epitomised by journeys to the beach, families and feasting, and of course the time-honoured tradition of New Year’s resolutions.  Stopping smoking is consistently at the top of the list for New Year’s resolutions.From 1 January 2019, the tobacco excise tax will rise by 10 percent as another scheduled tobacco tax increases takes effect. Bridget Rowse, Northland DHB Smokefree Advisor is urging smokers to beat the price increase and consider quitting this summer.“We’re encouraging everyone to make stopping smoking their resolution this New Year. It’s a great opportunity to begin that journey to a smokefree life,” says Bridget."We are trying to put a stop to whānau dying needlessly from smoking-related diseases.  More and more people are stopping smoking and we are seeing more outdoor public spaces become smokefree.  It used to be very social and now it's not.  Many kiwis don’t want smoking in their country anymore."Bridget says, “The cost of smoking maybe going up, but the cost of quitting is free.”Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services provide a FREE Northland wide stop smoking service offering face-to-face support which can be provided in an individual, whanau/family or group setting, with eight sites across Tai Tokerau.  Providing FREE nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to support you on your journey to quit/become smokefree.  This includes gum, lozenges and patches and advice about other non-funded stop smoking medicines available.Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are safe, and contain only a minimal amount of nicotine, and come packaged without any of the 4,000 chemicals (many of which are harmful) found in cigarettes - using patches, gum or lozenges you will double your chance of quitting for good.The cost of smoking will continue to rise by 10 percent on January 1 each year for the next four years as part of the Government 2016 Budget announcement. Tax hikes are part of a number of measures designed to move New Zealand towards The Government's goal of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025 – reducing smoking prevalence to less than 5 percent of the total population.  The cost of quitting is still FREE. To get help to stop smoking call Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services 0508 TOKI RAU (0508 8651 728) for FREE Northland wide face-to-face stop smoking support for individuals, whānau/family or group setting, with eight sites across Northland.​

The Marlin Hotel goes Smokefree​

The only smoking you will find at the Marlin Hotel in Whangaroa is smoked marlin on the menu.  The Marlin Hotel has gone totally smokefree and believed to be the first ‘local pub’ in Northland to do so.In August the Marlin Hotel under new ownership closed for renovations and re-opened as a family friendly hotel and restaurant.Smoking doesn’t align with the new look and feel of the hotel and the way the new owners want to do business.  “We wanted to created a family friendly atmosphere and attract families to enjoy the view, a healthier menu and and environment,” say Paul Condron, Chef and Manager.We went about the renovation by removing the bar leaners and pool table and added more dining tables to create a family friendly atmosphere.  We let our customers know that what we were doing, offering healthier menu options, and a cleanier, healthier, family friendly look and feel to the place. We have a whole new clientele.  We might be closing earlier than we used to, after the dinner rush, but that means we all have a better work life balance. “Going smokefree outdoors has been great for business. It has really turned the business around. The spend per head is completely different, it's so much better,” says Paul.“Buy you can't expect to go smokefree and the people will just come to you, you need to offer them something else and our dining options did that.“We at Te Runanga o Whaingaroa fully support Paul and his commitment to the health and well being of  his staff, the customers and the community,” says Cara Epiha Toki Rau Stop Smoking Practitioner at Te Runanga O Whaingaroa (TRoW).”The Marlin Hotel joins 34 other premises that offer smokefree outdoor dining in Northland. To see who they are go to“I encourage everyone to go to the Marlin Hotel this summer its an awesome drive, a beautiful spot, enjoy a great meal and the sunshine outdoors in the ‘Fresh Air’ without a side of smoke,” says Bridget Rowse Smokefree Advisor Northland District Health Board.  

Whangārei District Council plans to make all public spaces smokefree by the end of 2020​

By: Danica MacLeanDanica MacLean is a reporter for the Northern A policy to make Whangārei smokefree by 2025 has been applauded by health advocates.Whangārei District Council adopted a Smokefree policy at a council meeting on Thursday, aligning with the wider New Zealand goal.Under the policy, the council plans to make alfresco dining, all public spaces owned by the council and beaches smokefree by the end of 2020.Council-owned playgrounds, sports fields, neighbourhood reserves, bus shelters and council run events are already smokefree, as are a number of key council-owned sites including the Aquatic Centre, The Hub, the i-SITE, Claphams Clocks, the Quarry Gardens, Kiwi North and the library courtyard.The policy is non-regulatory which means the council will achieve it's goal through the use of signs and educational material and working smokefree clauses into lease agreements and contracts for property and events.Smoking of tobacco products, vaping and using heated tobacco products are all covered by the policy.Councillors were applauded by those in the public gallery when they adopted the policy.Cancer Society Northland manager Jenni Moore was among those there."This decision is a significant step towards achieving smokefree 2025 and, we acknowledge the support of council and hope that other councils in Northland will follow suit," she said.Sitting alongside her was Northland District Health Board smokefree advisor Bridget Rowse, who said it was encouraging to hear from Councillor Anna Murphy the feedback from the Youth Advisory Group about the policy."They strongly supported increased smokefree outdoor public spaces, especially the inclusion of vape-free and smokefree beaches from an environmental perspective - reducing butt litter and plastic pollution."Hāpai te Hauora said the move, along with Auckland Council's move to make more than 800 restaurants, cafes, and bars with outdoor areas smokefree demonstrates whānau wellbeing being prioritised on many levels - reducing the risk of second hand smoke, denormalising smoking for rangatahi and ensuring the health and safety of hospitality kaimahi.The Māori public health organisation said it is a great start but urged more consistent regulations to avoid confusion across regions.Hāpai General Manager of Tobacco Control, Mihi Blair, believes that more consistent regulation from Ministry of Health could provide better guidance to councils in creating smokefree policy."We are more mobile than ever - particularly Māori. Better regulations could provide guidance for more consistent smokefree policies across regions, helping avoid confusion and maximising on the health gains".Cr Greg Martin was pleased to see vaping included. "It's far more invasive than cigarettes for the rest of us."Cr Vince Cocurullo was happy it was non-regulatory as if it was regulatory it would be "taking the free will away from people and I do not want to do that".Cr Stu Bell said those affected by second hand smoke did not get a choice, while Cr Cherry Hermon said tobacco and addiction takes away free will.Mayor Sheryl Mai said they had a duty of care to the people they serve in the district."People who live here can lead healthy lives in a clean environment."Every year Northlanders spend an estimated $147 million on tobacco products.While 19.1 per cent of Northlanders smoke - the highest rate in the country, which averages 15 per cent nationally - it's down from the 24 per cent who smoked in the mid-1990s.

Whangarei Cafes Fresh Air success​

Ninety-four percent of Whangarei CBD and Quayside café customers supported smokefree outdoor dining according to customer feedback.The information was collected part of the The Fresh Air Project Whangarei, a 3-month smokefree outdoor dining pilot, during which 10 new cafes became smoke free, adding to the 14 cafes that were smokefree before the promotion.“One customer said it was a lot nicer to dine here now (this café has gone smokefree). They said they will stop in more often and her children could eat in a cleaner environment,” said Northland District Health Board smokefree coordinator Bridget Rowse.“Another said it was a great initiative all outdoor eating spaces should be smokefree.”Ms Rowse said the smokefree outdoor dining pilot was designed to allow the public to experience the benefits of smokefree outdoor dining.“The benefits of smokefree outdoor dining extend beyond the smoker to customers and staff. Dining outside is nicer, when you don’t have smoke around you.  Second-hand smoke isn’t just unpleasant, it poses a real health risk which customers and cafe staff shouldn’t have to be exposed to.  It is also good for business as Smokefree outdoor dining attracts more families, and improves the overall dining experience for visitors.”Ms Rowse said 72 percent of customer’s said they were more likely to visit a cafe again because they offered smokefree outdoor dining.Mayor Sheryl Mai said she was proud to see how many Whangarei cafes had participated in the pilot and then chosen to remain smokefree outdoors.“It is wonderful that local cafes took part in The Fresh Air Project Whangarei to enable patrons to enjoy outdoor dining without a side of smoke.  It meant they had the benefit of trialing the programme with the support of other businesses and organisations, for long enough to see how it affected the bottom line and customer feedback.”Jim Callaghan, Cancer Society Northland congratulated the cafes for getting involved and supporting a smokefree future.“We were initially concerned that cafes might be reluctant to get on board, but the opposite was true. The cafe owners we spoke to really ‘got it’.  They could see the benefits that being involved would provide to both their customers and their bottom line,” says Mr Callaghan.The Fresh Air Project Whangarei was based on a similar successful pilot run in Christchurch in 2017.  The Whangarei pilot ran for three months. The pilot has been evaluated by Northland District Health Board and Cancer Society Northland.  Learn more 


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