Whanau play big part in smokefree push

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Smokefree zone .. Mokupuna Reo o Arowhenua celebrate World Smokefree Day last week. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS

by Al Williams

Children were the focus of the smokefree message at Arowhenua Marae during an informal session last week.
Mokupuna Reo o Arowhenua celebrated World Smokefree Day on May 31 with a series of activities and songs.
Co-ordinator Lavinia Reihana-Moemate  said a group of grandmothers, mothers, children and grandchildren met fortnightly, and were joined by South Canterbury District Health Board stop-smoking service staff members Carmen Chamberlain and Koriana Waller in an effort to  “bring people together”.
Ms Chamberlain said children and grandchildren were the biggest motivators when persuading family members to quit.
Group member Kristeena Mookkaiah said she quit smoking on June 13, 2016.
“I was still pregnant when I gave up and I been smoking for 17 years.
“I was coming up 30 and I wanted to make the time to do other things.”
Ms Chamberlain said the morning session was about “encouraging whanau into smokefree lifestyles”.
“Many smokers try to quit and the key to success is getting as much support as possible.
“World Smokefree Day celebrations with Mokopuna Reo o Arowhenua were about supporting positive smokefree messages across the whole whanau.”
Seven weeks of group-based therapy at Temuka’s Arowhenua Whanau Services would start on July 4, 6-7pm. Anyone interested in getting involved was encouraged to call 0800 542 527 to book a place.