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New MDHB Tobacco Control Plan to focus on 11 areas

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MidCentral DHB has updated its Tobacco Control Plan outlining what MidCentral DHB will achieve over the next three years as part of its move toward Smokefree Aotearoa 2025.

​The new plan, for 2015-18, outlines 11 focus areas and describes a number of strategies within each area to achieve increased quit attempts and reduce smoking rates across the district. MDHB is seeking feedback on the new plan.

In March 2011 the Government adopted the goal of New Zealand being smokefree by the year 2025.  All DHBs are striving to achieve that goal, and according to Andrew Orange, interim portfolio manager, primary care, “in MidCentral we’re making good progress.

“A key theme of the plan is that the DHB can’t achieve the smokefree 2025 goal on its own.  We need to work with other agencies such as local councils and communities in a coordinated approach to meeting our targets.  After all, a smokefree district will benefit us all, because:

1) Tobacco use is responsible for about 25% of cancer deaths in New Zealand.
2) The tangible costs of smoking to New Zealand in 2005 were around NZ$1.7 billion.  This includes costs incurred because of lost production due to early death, lost production due to smoking-caused illness, and smoking caused healthcare costs.
3) Smoking is responsible for the death of 5,000 New Zealanders each year.
4) Half of all long-term smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.
5) On average, smokers lose 15 years of life.”

Census data says that between 2006 and 2013 the proportion of people in the MidCentral district who identified as regular smokers reduced from 22.7% to 16.9%.  Similarly, the proportion of people who identified as having never smoked regularly increased from 55.2% to 59.1%.

While that’s good progress, smoking rates aren’t reducing fast enough for us to meet the 2025 goal.  Between 2006 and 2013 we averaged 900 fewer smokers a year.  To achieve the 2025 goal, we need to increase that figure to something more like 1200 fewer smokers a year.  Continuing to do what we’ve done in the past is unlikely to achieve our objective.

Feedback on the plan can be sent to Mr Orange, on or before 19 April to

Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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