Smokefree Leadership

The Smokefree Otara Town Centre project has been led by Otara Health. The project came about as a result of the health goals identified during an Otara community planning session. The community wanted to provide smokefree zones in the town centre, in particular, in areas where children, young people and families gather. Because the town centre is not an enclosed area, it is not subject to the smoking ban under the Smokefree Environments Act. The approach therefore needed to be an educative one where as many people as possible are aware of the harms caused by tobacco and actively support a smokefree environment.

Otara Health has carried out training sessions for local community groups and businesses and has worked with the Council to put smokefree signage up in the areas identified as being smokefree zones. Over the last few years, the project has given rise to community volunteers, organisations and businesses working together to support their town centre to be smokefree. Other stakeholders, including Counties Manukau District Health Board, Otara Business Association, the National Heart Foundation, Auckland Council and Otara community leaders actively supported the project.

Many of our team are trained to support people who would like to stop smoking. They are also certified to provide nicotine replacement products through the government funded quit card scheme. For on-going support people are generally referred to the local cessation providers in the community.