Bhavin Patel and his wife Gayatri bought Moshims Discount House in College Street last May. One year on and Mr Patel says that business custom and turnover is as good as it ever was.
Moshims’ previous owners had been tobacco-free retailers for the previous seven years, a stance Mr and Mrs Patel decided to maintain.
And, with World Smokefree Day on Thursday 31 May, they wanted to encourage other retailers to follow suit.
Aside from the personal satisfaction of not selling cigarettes to people already addicted to smoking, or who may start smoking, Mr Patel said having no tobacco products on the premises made it feel like a safer place.
“In recent times there have been so many armed robberies and break-ins at dairies where cigarettes, as well as cash, have been the target. While no-one is completely safe, we feel safer.
“Also, you can sell many items at dairies - you don’t need to sell tobacco in order to make a profit.”
No tobacco, full stop: Bhavin Patel behind the counter at Moshims Discount House in College Street, Palmerston North.
MidCentral DHB Public Health Services’ Smokefree Health Promotion Advisor Julie Beckett praised the Patels.
“It’s retailers like the Patels and the eight other tobacco-free retailers in our MidCentral area that will help achieve a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025,” Ms Beckett said.
“Being tobacco-free supports people who are trying to quit and have recently quit, by reducing the temptation of knowing tobacco is available.
“Stopping smoking can be difficult but we know that having support helps. There is a wide range of support available to help people to quit smoking, including Te Ohu Auahi Mutunga (TOAM), a community-based stop smoking service available free to people throughout the MidCentral DHB area. TOAM provides free Nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, together with face to face support, texting, group support or phone calls.”
The other eight tobacco-free retailers in the MidCentral DHB area are Palmy Food City, Manawatu Street Takeaways, Massey University Students Association (MUSA) Shop, BJ’s Lunch Bar, Just Right Grocery, Parkview Tearooms, Laskey’s Auto Services, and TJ’s Dairy.
Retailers: Any retailer wanting more information on how to become tobacco-free, how to comply with Smoke-free law or with concerns about retailers selling tobacco to minors (under 18’s) can contact a SmokeFree Enforcement Officer at MidCentral Public Health Services on 06 350 9110.