Plans are underway to make Te Awhina, Whanganui Hospital's mental health ward, smoke-free by the end of June.
The ward began the transition to go smoke-free on April 18, and has seven weeks to complete the process before June 27.
Tobacco control co-ordinator for the Public Health Centre, Rosie McMenamin, said the choice of day was to inspire change in the ward.
"We have chosen June 27 to align with Matariki and to strengthen the message around positive change," McMenamin said.
Te Awhina was on track to reach the smoke-free goal, McMeniman said, and staff were about to undertake training to understand the importance of the change.
The Whanganui District Health Board said it was embracing the change to support their clients and patients' mental health as well as physical health.
Many national and international studies had shown there was a link between smoking and increases in anxiety, depression and panic attacks, the DHB said.
Studies had also shown smoking contributed to accelerated cognitive decline and increased the probability of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease later in life.
McMenamin said there was a great collaborative approach to the transition, with clinicians, staff, whānau and Tangata whai ora - patients and clients - all being involved.
"The team is made up of the smoke-free tobacco co-ordinator, the clinical nurse manager of Te Awhina and four passionate TA staff members who are acting as smoke-free champions," McMenamin said.
McMenamin also said staff at the ward were being encouraged to go smoke-free as well, with free nicotine products provided to all at the ward, and if staff continued to smoke it would have to be off DHB grounds.
Vapes would also be used to help transition people at Te Awhina away from smoking.
The DHB said it had been a great tool to help quit smoking and they were 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes.