Give Our Kids A Smokefree Car Ride

Public Support
Second-hand smoke
Smokefree cars
Smokefree environments
Tamara Ruakere
Taranaki-New Plymouth
06 7594064

Goals and objectives

  • To raise awareness around the importance of smokefree environments for our tamariki/children by promoting and encouraging people in our community to make their cars smokefree.
  • To engage with drivers and passengers (that currently smoke) and offer quit smoking advice and guidance on healthier lifestyle choices including, but not limited to, nutrition, alcohol reduction and sun safety for them, their tamariki and whānau.

Target audience

  • People who currently smoke in cars while carrying tamariki and whānau.
  • People who don’t smoke in cars while carrying tamariki and whānau, who are willing to support and encourage the “Give Our Kids a Smokefree Car Ride” (GOKASFCR) kaupapa/purpose.

Project fit with 2025 aims

As stated in the Smokefree Aotearoa  2025 Action Plan 2013-15, in order to  support a reduction in smoking rates to <5% (adult daily smoking) our priorities are to increase successful cessation and increase public support to reduce the number of New Zealanders (tamariki in particular) who start smoking.

The “Give Our Kids a Smokefree Car Ride” event (project) focussed firstly on engaging with one of our communities in Taranaki that currently has a high smoking prevalence and to gain public support from the whānau of that community to decrease (and potentially eliminate) the number of people actively smoking in cars while carrying tamariki/children, and whānau/family. 

To increase successful quitting by providing information, advice, encouragement, resources, methods and support to current smokers to quit.

What happened

Held a free community event in conjunction with National Children’s Day (1March 2015) in Waitara, which has one of the highest smoking prevalence in Taranaki and to initially raise awareness around the importance of smokefree environments for our tamariki/children by promoting and encouraging people in our community to make their cars smokefree.  The event was held at a popular playground/park where tamariki and youth regularly meet.

Prior to the event, Tui Ora designed and produced smokefree car stickers (bilingual).  To further promote the stickers and event, ‘survival packs’ which also included a quit book; sticker competition details; stickers, drink bottles, stress balls and other smokefree resources from HPA, Heart Foundation & Cancer Society; Yeah Nah campaign and a poster (of the event) we produced and distributed to target groups including childcare centres, Kōhanga Reo, schools/kura, Plunket and Waitara Alive.  

Sponsorship letters were distributed to local businesses (in Waitara and New Plymouth) requesting vouchers, gift baskets or donations that we could offer as spot prizes, to further encourage participation.  There was a good response from local businesses in-kind, and these were subsequently promoted and thanked during the event via public announcements and our sponsor’s board, and continued via our “GOKASFKR” facebook page.


  • Taranaki Smokefree Coalition
  • Māori Woman’s Welfare League
  • Aukati Kai Paipa
  • Taranaki District Health Board
  • Waitara High School
  • New Plymouth District Council
  • Health Promotion Team (Tui Ora).

Key outcomes

  • Increased community awareness by creating smokefree environments for tamariki through use of local media and the event.
  • Increased visibility of smokefree car stickers on vehicles
  • Photos captured at the event can be used in ‘poster’ promotion for further smokefree awareness campaigns.

Where to from here

  • Continue with wider community exposure to smokefree car awareness
  • Collaborate with local health providers, smokefree groups and other external organisations (e.g. Plunket could have a smokefree car sticker go out with their car seat hire with the premise that their car must remain smokefree) in order to promote and support smokefree environments and smokefree cars as a collective.

Key learnings

What worked:

• Community involvement and input on the project

There is good evidence our communities support the smokefree cars and smokefree environments kaupapa.  However, we need to continue raise the awareness as there are still many people smoking in their cars while carrying tamariki/children.

What could be done differently:

  • Improve the promotion of the event by distributing posters and ‘survival packs’ earlier
  • Facebook – smokefree selfie sticker competition, need to allow more time for promotion, distribution of stickers and uploading of selfies.
  • Utilise more organisations including PORSE, Tamariki Ora/Well Child, Koroua and Kuia (Pāheke) Roopu, the Police and Fire Services that could further promote the smokefree car message.
Page last updated: 23 Mar 2016