World Smokefree Day – HCA says stronger support for by-Māori for-Māori approach essential to reach Smokefree 2025 goal

31 May, 2023 | Media Release

World Smokefree Day is an international day where we join the rest of the world to raise awareness about our efforts to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco in our communities.  

Tākiri Mai te Ata Stop Smoking Service Regional Manager and HCA Smokefree Expert Advisory Group member Catherine Manning celebrates the large number of whānau who have been brave enough to quit smoking cigarettes, but says we know some populations still have a long way to go. 

“We know that the harm caused to Māori and Pacific populations are still disproportionate compared to other populations. The Smokefree 2025 plan that Minister Ayesha Verrall released in 2022 is designed to address some of these inequities but it’s not the silver bullet that will achieve our Tupeka Kore (Tobacco Free) goal,” says Ms Manning.  

“There was a Māori governance kōmiti set up in 2022 to provide guidance to the Ministry and Minister, but it hasn’t been resourced to keep running effectively.    

“If we want to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal, we must see an independent Māori governance rōpū adequately funded and supported to ensure a by-Māori for-Māori approach in all Māori tobacco control plans.” 

Ms Manning said today is also a time to stop and remember those who have lost their lives to tobacco and those who are affected by the losses of their whānau.  

“Since the Smokefree 2025 goal was set in 2011, over 60,000 people have passed from smoking related illnesses. These deaths were preventable, and have left behind whānau who will continue to feel the loss for generations to come. 

“HCA advocates every day for a smokefree world that no longer tolerates tobacco as part of our community.”

For more information contact:

Hugo Robinson | Health Equity Communications Advocate, Health Coalition Aotearoa

Email:, Mobile: +64 (0)22 026 8088


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