A petrol station owner who has stopped selling cigarettes says "it didn't feel right to be the one supplying it" to his community.

The Kaukapakapa Gull service station today signed a pledge to no longer stock cigarettes following calls from the community to reduce the availability of tobacco in their neighbourhood.

It comes as today marks World Smokefree Day and this month advocate groups - Hāpai Te Hauora and the Cancer Society of New Zealand - have been promoting the pledge as part of its new campaign "Stop the Stock".

The store is the first Gull petrol station in the country to not sell tobacco.


Kaukapakapa branch owner Brett Peachy said it was a decision made for the community.

The Kaukapakapa Gull service station will no longer sell cigarettes.
The Kaukapakapa Gull service station will no longer sell cigarettes.

"We might have taken a hit financially, but when you've got friends and community members saying they want to quit smoking, it didn't feel right to be the one supplying it."

Peachy said so far they hadn't had any complaints from the community.

"I think customers who come in looking for smokes are still happy to be given the complimentary chocolate fish instead," Peachy said.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua Māori public health coordinator and Kaukapakapa local, Marama Pairama, worked with the petrol station to become smokefree.

She said the whole community was behind them as it was a massive step for their neighbourhood.

Hāpai general manager for tobacco control Mihi Blair, who helped led the campaign, said
if the problem for smoking rates lies in the excess supply that communities are exposed to, then that's where we'll find our solution.

"Gull Kaukapakapa is one business who has started the movement by pledging to support the smokefree kaupapa.

"If grocery and petrol companies want to be on the right side of history, they would be taking this a step further and also committing to reducing their tobacco supply."

Blair said Peachy's stance was a "testament to the power of Māori leadership to enable smokefree communities".