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Promoting non-smoking . . . Kick Ash smoking cessation service staff members Deb Whatuira (left) and Koriana Waller (right) join kaumatua Joe Reihana in promoting World Smokefree Day at Arowhenua Marae last Thursday. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

by Greta Yeoman

School pupils, South Canterbury residents and smoke cessation service staff members joined together for World Smokefree Day activities at Arowhenua Marae last week.

The whanau-based event aimed to promote the work of South Canterbury District Health Board’s Kick Ash service, which encouraged residents to quit their smoking habit.

Kick Ash staff member Deb Whatuira said the whanau focus of smoking cessation promotion had encouraged older smokers to quit for the sake of their mokopuna (grandchildren), along with encouraging school-aged residents to never take it up.

The morning’s activities included rock art, kapa haka performances by Arowhenua Maori School and a quiz about the chemicals in cigarettes.

The day was also the launch of the South Canterbury branch of the nationwide Pregnant Mama service, which would be run by Kick Ash and would focus on encouraging expectant mothers to quit smoking for the sake of their child.

Timaru Courier reporter Greta Yeoman attended the event at the marae, just south of Temuka.