14 May 2014

Quit smoking incentives for students

6:56 am on 14 May 2014

Maori students who smoke at Horowhenua College in Levin will get incentives for saving money they would have otherwise spent on cigarettes.

The Smoke or Save initiative was launched by the MidCentral District Health Board and the town's branch of Bank of New Zealand on Tuesday night.

National figures show rangatahi Maori have double the percentage of regular smokers compared to the general population.

no smoking sign

Photo: PHOTO NZ

Under the initiative, students will run programmes and events promoting the smoke free message and BNZ will also offer incentives to those saving money they would have spent on cigarettes.

DHB Maori health advisor Doug Edwards said incentives could include vouchers, money and Kiwisaver type reward schemes. He said it was important to raise a generation of healthy Maori.

The initiative was hoped to be rolled out to all schools in the region.