A Maori boarding school teacher says the most challenging time to enforce an anti-smoking policy is after the school holidays.
Kere Mihaere is deputy principal at Turakina Maori Girls' College, which has been praised by the Whanganui District Health Board for reducing the number of junior students who light up.
He says parents need to be educated too because they often allow their children to smoke during the holidays and when they return to school, so does their bad habit.
Mr Mihaere says parents also need to come on board for the anti-smoking campaigns to be more effective.
He says the school is made to look like the evil one because it has to reprimand the pupils for smoking.
A questionnaire by the Whanganui DHB at Turakina revealed most students get their cigarettes from older members of their whanau.