Dunedin dairy's smoke-free stand wins reward

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand executive director Jane Patterson (left) and...
Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand executive director Jane Patterson (left) and Dunedin dairy owner Moreen Hall with the foundation's inaugural business responsibility award. Photo by Sam Stevens.
Dunedin dairy owner Moreen Hall's decision to put community well-being ahead of income was recognised yesterday when she became the inaugural recipient of a national health award.

The Dainty Dairy owner received the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand (ARFNZ) responsible business award at a presentation at her Stuart St premises.

When she bought the dairy in 2006 she was shocked to see teenagers smoking in the area.

Mrs Hall has occasionally defended her decision not to stock tobacco products, explaining to angry customers it would be irresponsible to reinforce smoking as acceptable in an area occupied by several schools.

"I just think we need to do things to help kids make something of themselves in society. I would never sell cigarettes or tobacco to younger people and I think we really need to think about the messages we give them," Mrs Hall said.

ARFNZ executive director Jane Patterson said a decision by businesses to make smoking less visible and limiting access to cigarettes for young people would lower numbers of people starting smoking.

Otago District Health Board public health group manager Pip Stewart, of Dunedin, said about 4500 people died from smoking-related illnesses in New Zealand each year; Otago's contribution to the statistics was proportional.

"It is important to reduce smoking, because we see it just lines up a whole range of health issues, including contributing to cancer," she said.


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