Palmerston North dairy proud to be tobacco free
World Smokefree Day is on Saturday, and the owners of Moshims Discount Dairy in College Street, Palmerston North, have no regrets about their decision to stop selling tobacco.
Five years ago, owners Nazmeen Ismail and her husband Imtiyaz Bakshi made the decision not to sell tobacco. Contrary to some beliefs, being tobacco free has not impacted on sales at their dairy. In fact, being tobacco free has given Nazmeen peace of mind.
She said: “It feels much safer not having tobacco in the shop, considering at times there might be some $8000 – 10,000 worth of stock sitting in the cupboard alone, and being mindful of the small profit gained from selling tobacco.”
Nazmeen and Imtiyaz have replaced tobacco with some very sought after items such as Himalayan creams and ayurvedic items (alternative medicine), which are expensive to source on the net.
Imtiyaz said: “For the same amount of money a retailer invests in tobacco, you can purchase other products that won’t kill people.”
The dairy is also close to a school which was a further reason for them not to stock and sell tobacco.
MidCentral Public Health Smokefree Health Promotion Advisor Julie Beckett said: “With World Smokefree Day (WSFD) coming up on 31 May it’s a great time to highlight champions in our community such as Nazmeen and Imtiyaz. Their dairy became tobacco free in 2009, well before the ‘power walls’ of tobacco displays were banned, and they haven’t looked back.
“Being tobacco free supports people who are trying to quit and have recently quit, by reducing the temptation of knowing tobacco is available. They have effectively replaced tobacco with feel good products, which also have a higher mark up than tobacco. It’s retailers like Nazmeen and Imtiyaz that will get Aotearoa Smokefree by 2025.”
In the latest ASH year 10 survey the MidCentral region had the lowest rates for youth smoking in the country. While there are many measures in place to reduce the prevalence of smoking, the banning of tobacco displays, along with more shops refusing to sell tobacco, will go a long way to denormalising smoking.
Many other retailers and cafes in the MidCentral district have also become smokefree. Why not celebrate World Smokefree Day, 31 May and support your favourite local smokefree café with a coffee. Members of the local smokefree coalition, Tobacco Free Central, will be having morning tea at the Tomato Café on the corner of George and Main Streets, Palmerston North at 10am Friday 30 May.
For local support to quit smoking, please contact Te Ohu Auahi Mutunga – smoking cessation providers available throughout the MidCentral region (06) 357 3426 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Quitline on 0800 778 778.