Smokefree countdown for Te Awhina – Health…


Monday, 9 May, 2022 – 10:27

The Countdown is coming! June 27th marks a huge day for health at Te Awhina, Whanganui Hospitals Acute Mental Health ward. Embracing wellness and change, Te Awhina will become smoke free from the June 27th onwards.

“we have chosen the 27th of June to align with Matariki and to strengthen the message around positive change” Rosie McMenamin, Kaihoe- Tobacco Control Coordinator for the Public Health Centre.

What people may not be aware of, is that smoking contributes to poor mental health. There have been many studies completed internationally and nationally which have all confirmed that smoking is a negative contributor to mental health. There are proven links to increases to anxiety, depression, panic attacks to name a few.

We are making these changes not only to assist our Tangata whai ora (client’s/patients) with their physical journey to health, but also their mental journey.

We have all heard about the damage tabaco does to our bodies, this is not a new message. What may be new for some of us, is the messaging around how smoking affects our mental health. For those people struggling with the thought of quitting smoking, vaping is an excellent tool having been proven to be 95% less harmful. We have a comprehensive support cessation process in place and Vorteke disposable vapes being offered to assist with the stopping process. For those who would normally smoke, it won’t be a “cold turkey process”. There are many options for support-patches, lozenges, chewing gum and Vorteke vape pens. There are qualified Quit Staff around to coach and help with the change of mindset and habit.

We are being proactive for our people’s wellbeing. With the Whanganui DHB Vape position statement being completed it allows us to offer every support for success that we have. It aligns with the national target of Smokefree Aoteroa 2025.

The 10 week countdown started on the 18th of April, with Tangata whai ora (client’s/patients) and their support networks having time and support to be ready for the change. Te Awhina will be officially smokefree from 27th of June.

It takes a community to grow a community, and it is the same for the success of this pathway to wellness. There is a great collaborative approach to this happening with clinicians, staff, whanau and Tangata whai ora (client’s/patients) being involved throughout. Robust follow up care and support services are available and accessible when people are discharged to help keep them on the path to being smokefree, Tangita Whai ora (patients/clients) will have at least 4 weeks of follow up and support from the Whanganui Stop Smoking Service.

If you are a smoker and would like free help and advice on how to quit then pop in or contact Whanganui Stop Smoking Service – Ngā Taura TÅ«hono, located at 49 Ingestre Street, or you can give them a ring on 0800 200 249 / (06) 349 2306 it’s a great place to start.

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