Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa/New Zealand is building on the work of Pauline Allan-Downs who has spent a lifetime promoting smoking cessation. Grace Wong, the current Director, picked up the reins in 2007 at a stage when the group was operating on volunteer time with no budget.
In 2009, Smokefree Nurses received government funding for the majority of its activities and is now a non-profit advocacy group which supports nurses in their vital role of helping clients and patients quit smoking.
The success and efficacy of Smokefree Nurses lies with the practicing nurses who deliver smoking cessation programmes to their clients and patients. With this in mind, the group operates with minimal personnel of two part time staff together with others who are co-opted for specific projects.
Every nurse who delivers smoking cessation interventions is a Smokefree Nurse and is valued as a part of this community.