Mangere MP Su’a William Sio launched the Teachers’ Say About Smokefree research report, by Dr Marewa Glover of Auckland University, on the influence of teachers in the school smokefree environment.
Launching the report in Mangere on Friday 7th May, Su’a William Sio said: “As someone with a personal commitment to being smoke-free, I fully support the research by the School of Population Health which shows the powerful influence of teachers on our kids and how their behaviour is a model that children do take note of.
“What also made this launch very important for me is that I spoke to the school-children at Kedgley Intermediate, so that I can influence them not to take up smoking as a habit because I don’t want to hear of anyone suffering or dying as a result of smoking-related illnesses.
“They represent our next generation of leaders and, in my mind, we need to protect our young so they live lives that enable them to live long enough to grow, serve and contribute to improving this planet,” Su’a William Sio said.
“So I shared with the schoolchildren the events last week in Parliament when 118 MPs overwhelmingly supported a bill into law that raised the price of tobacco in New Zealand.
“As I explained to the students, the majority of MPs supported the Bill because deaths resulting from tobacco are preventable and the statistics show more than 5000 people die each year from smoking-related deaths. And among this number, Maori and Pacific deaths are significant,” Su’a William Sio said.
“People in our communityare now talking about banning smoking in their cars to help bring those terrible statistics down.
“There is talk about removing tobacco products from our shores. That will be a challenge for the next generation of leaders represented by the schoolchildren I spoke to today at Kedgley,” Su’a William Sio said.
“I hope they take it up because it will take a generation to see a sea change in views about whether it is ever acceptable to sell a product that ultimately ends in death or life-long chronic illness.
“I want to thank Auckland University and Kedgley Intermediate for inviting me, as the local MP for Mangere, to launch this significant report.”