Smokefree video project open to the public


With movement and gatherings still restricted during Covid-19 Alert Level 2, Smokefree Otago and the Southern DHB Smokefree team are taking a new approach to sharing the smokefree message.

Inspired by the many clever and thought-provoking videos that have been shared online in recent weeks, they are inviting the public to help create a smokefree-themed video chain, to be launched on World Smokefree Day, May 31.

Led by Southern DHB smokefree co-ordinator Debby Newton and health promotion adviser Catherine Thomas, the video chain project aims to “celebrate smokefree lives and environments”.

“Usually, we are out and about in the community during May with our coalition partners from Smokefree Otago, but this year we have had to change that and go virtual,” Ms Newton said.

“So, we are asking people to pass on their matauranga [knowledge] with a message that conveys the benefits of being smokefree for our environment and youth.”

People of all ages and backgrounds are invited to write a message on a piece of card and then film themselves “receiving” their message, speaking to it, and then passing it along.

The 10-second videos will be put together into one sequence, to be launched on May 31.

“We would love lots of people around Otago and Southland to join us in celebrating what is great about smokefree,” Ms Newton said.

The campaign would highlight the positive message that nearly 84% of New Zealanders are smokefree, and an increasing number of spaces are now smokefree.

It would also share important environmental messages, such as that burning cigarettes gave off carbon dioxide, and that discarded cigarette butts leached nicotine and heavy metals into the environment, or could contaminate sea life.

The Government has set a goal of becoming a smokefree nation, with fewer than 5% of New Zealanders smoking, by 2025.

Ms Thomas said it was important for the health of future generations that being smokefree was “normalised” across the country, meaning that young people were not getting peer pressure to smoke.

“The less smoking young people see around them, the less likely they will take up smoking themselves,” she said.

For more details on the video project, visit the Smokefree South Facebook page.

Taking part in the Smokefree Otago video project

Help convey a message of the benefits of being smokefree for our environment and youth.

Write a message supporting the smokefree lifestyle on paper or card and have a message to say also.

Take a video showing the speaker “receiving” a message from the right, holding up the card and speaking, and handing it off to the left.

Film in “portrait” if using a cellphone.

Videos no longer than 10 seconds.

Send videos to catherine.thomas@southern or by noon on Monday, May 25.

Videos will be spliced together and shared online through the Southern DHB website, Smokefree South facebook page, and The Star website on World Smokefree Day, May 31.