Today is World Smokefree Day.
This year’s theme for Smokefree Day is “it’s about whānau” with a focus on celebrating New Zealand’s smokefree achievements.
The majority of New Zealanders are smokefree and want smokefree environments. Having smokefree whānau, homes, workplaces and public spaces is worth celebrating!
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand. About 5,000 people die each year due to smoking, ahead of suicide (510 a year), motor vehicle accidents (315 a year) and drowning (81 a year).
Legally all indoor workplaces must be smokefree under the Smoke-free Environments Act, but employers have the right to extend smokefree areas to outdoor areas and work vehicles.
There are a lot of benefits to having a smokefree workplace:
- It contributes to successful quitting – when colleagues are trying to quit there is not the constant reminder, or trigger, when others are smoking around them.
- Healthier workers and fewer sick days – smokers stay sicker longer and take about three times more sick days as non-smokers.
- Getting more done – a smoker taking four 10-minute breaks each day, which over a year adds up to working one month less than a non-smoker.
- People who are bothered by smoke will not be exposed to it at work – there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke and it can exacerbate health conditions like asthma.