Background and Context:
Engaging in local and central government consultation processes is an important strategy to improve population health outcomes. In recent years Cancer Society Auckland Health Promotion team has focused its capacity on influencing political processes for public health gain. This has included leading a Smokefree Auckland campaign aimed at a local government level.
Cancer Society Auckland (CSA) will outline their Smokefree Auckland campaign processes and strategies that have influenced and underpinned Auckland Council’s adoption of tobacco control goals aimed at achieving a Smokefree city.
Policy advocacy can be a powerful tool. Using research to highlight public opinion can effectively engage high profile media and put pressure on politicians to strengthen public health policy. This presentation highlights the results from the research and CSA’s approach to effectively influence Auckland Council. Strategies included a non-funded media campaign timed carefully to be a few days before council voted on the policy. Community members added weight to the key messages, through Breakfast TV airing a CSA video with families voicing strong support for a comprehensive Smokefree policy and a Smokefree vision for Auckland.
CSA has focused its capacity on influencing Council processes for public health gain by strongly campaigning for a comprehensive Smokefree Auckland policy. This involved a concerted and well planned advocacy approach.
Outcomes/What was learned:
The advocacy strategies utilised in this campaign were highly effective. Overall, Auckland Council set bold Smokefree goals and this was underpinned by the adoption of a comprehensive Smokefree policy. CSA will demonstrate the impact of research as a mechanism to generate media. CSA will also present measures of the impact community mobilisation had on Council prioritisation of Smokefree. These advocacy strategies will be transferable and relevant across public health issues.