Smoking is bad news, we know. The good news though, is that Massey University has been doing its part to help New Zealand get closer to achieving Smokefree 2025. Massey has hosted a series of Smokefree Summits across all three of its campuses, in Wellington, Manawatu and Albany. By Honourary Maverick JANAYA SOMA.
It’s My Life is New Zealand’s first ever for-youth, by-youth smokefree campaign. It just makes sense really; who better to get the message across to youth, than youth themselves? But that’s not just what the project is about. It’s about celebrating a smokefree lifestyle and emphasising that smoking sucks and it’s actually really, really hard to quit once you start.
I had the opportunity of helping to organise the Wellington Summit. We made it fun and as much as possible, took the focus away from smoking itself. Instead we focused on the positive aspects of leading a smokefree lifestyle.
A fun cover of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army by local band The Blind went down a treat for me. Sitting at the Wellington Summit on a lime green bean bag in the sun, listening to that and watching my peers get involved was only one highlight. I can’t not mention the medley of songs that went down, including Beyonce’s Single Ladies that the girls from Infinite (who are world hip hop champions, by the way) got jiggy to. Honestly, when is Beyonce ever a bad idea? Never.
A whole bunch of prizes – including a $5,000 College of Business scholarship – were awarded to the winners of the It’s My Life smokefree competition. There was so much talent, among such a bright bunch of young people. Two competition winners created fully functional, fun apps which help young smokers by offering support during the quitting process.
Being a part of the Wellington Summit was so much fun, and worth it in every way. I know I was playing a part in the solution of a wider issue that is really felt in New Zealand. I realised this midway through the Summit, when I asked a woman who had a smokefree stall how it was going and she reported that she had already administered two smokers with patches and another with further smokefree information. So in one way or another, I kind of contributed to saving someone’s life. In my humble opinion, I think that kind of rocks.
The greatest thing about this project is that you can do the same too. There is further funding available for school groups who want to set up their own by-youth smokefree group. You can perform a publicity stunt, get in the media and get some bands on board. Whatever you think could help to spread the crucial smokefree message.
Want to get involved? Email [email protected] to show your interestSHARE THIS POST...