This year Atoearoa is celebrating ‘World Smokefree May’, as part of a national campaign for Aotearoa to be Smokefree by 2025.

Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall launched ‘Smokefree May’, a new campaign developed with Hāpai Te Hauora, at an event at Manurewa Marae recently.

‘World Smokefree May’ will lead up to the celebration of ‘World Smokefree Day’ on Tuesday 31 May 2022.

“… we recognise the need to celebrate our smokefree vision for more than a single day a year, so for the first time ever, we will focus on this mahi for the whole month of May,” said Dr Verrall.

“The Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan I launched last year detailed measures that will help us reach our goal of making New Zealand smokefree in the next three years, saving thousands of lives. This is a priority of our Government, and throughout this month a range of activities will take place to promote a smokefree lifestyle.

“Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand and causes one in four cancers. Smoking-related harm is particularly prevalent in our Māori, Pacific and low-income communities. Our Action Plan will support all New Zealanders to quit smoking, or never start in the first place.”

Hāpai Te Hauora CEO Selah Hart said: “Our work towards having a smokefree Aotearoa by 2025 is part of a ground-breaking, world-leading strategy. All areas of our community, from our smallest tamariki, our whānau and community organisations to supporting legislation from central government are all backing each other.”


The theme is “We’re Backing You”, with a focus on the team effort to support whanau to quit and stay Smokefree. The key messages focus on whanaungatanga and wrap-around support, who provides it, and how.

The theme is matched with a three word whakatauki:

“Taituara, taiwhare, taieke”: with backing, even the tallest of oceans waves can be conquered.


Hāpai Te Hauora has created events across social media and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) with the aim of encouraging those who are thinking about quitting to take the first step and put their plan into action. 


“Hāpai Te Hauora is built on whānau, and we have decades of supporting the Smokefree2025 goal, alongside our collective efforts to achieve Tupeka Kore for all communities in Aotearoa. Being smokefree is essential to our future, and the future of our whakapapa. As we always have and will continue to do – we’re backing you,” says Ms Hart.

World Smokefree Day Facebook