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2000 People Signed Up With Quitline To Quit Smoking In Jan

Media Release – for immediate release
9 January 2013

2000 People Signed Up With Quitline To Quit Smoking In The First Week Of January

2000 people signed up with Quitline to quit smoking in the first week in January, and the use of the blogging community almost trebles

Quitline had over 2,000 people signing up to use its services in the first week of January 2013. “2,171 people from all over New Zealand signed up to our telephone and web-based support services in the first week of 2013. We are thrilled that so many New Zealanders want to quit smoking, improving their own health and the health of their family,” said Quitline’s Director of Strategy and Communications, Bruce Bassett.

The people who signed up with Quitline came from throughout New Zealand, which reflects Quitline’s services that are freely available to all New Zealander’s. Canterbury, Southern and Lakes, Counties Manukau, Waitemata and Auckland were the regions providing the most new Quitline clients, followed closely by Waikato, Wellington and Mid Central area.

The most exciting statistic for the first week in January has been the sharp increase in the number of people blogging and emailing for support. Quitline’s Quit Blogs have almost trebled in use, with 2,476 people blogging in the first week of January compared to 963 for the same period in 2012.

“Clearly, there is very strong interest by people to quit smoking and it is fantastic that people throughout New Zealand are engaging with Quitline through our phone and online services to support the achievement of their smoke-free resolutions”.

“This is a phenomenal increase and shows that our Quit Blog support service really strikes a chord with people who are quitting smoking. By using Quit Blogs, our clients are connected with a community of support with many people having gone through, or going through, the same experiences. You just need to read some blogs and understand how powerful support from peers is, and how it makes a difference to know you are not alone in your quitting journey”, says Bruce Bassett.

While Quitline research finds that most people giving up want to quit for family or health reasons, tobacco tax increases undoubtedly provide the trigger that some smokers needed. Most smokers knew the 1 January 10% price increase was coming and this has hit them hard in the wallet. The cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes has increased from $14.40 to $16.00, and a pack of 25’s from $18.00 to $20.00,” continued Mr. Bassett.

“Getting people to quit smoking matters to New Zealand, as we move towards our goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. With more people quit, health costs related to smoking will go down, there will be a reduction in respiratory problems and this will improve the health of everyone in the family, not just the smoker - add to that they will save many thousands of dollars a year,”.

“We know the more Quitline services a person uses, the higher their rate of success. Smokers can pick and choose the support services that work best for them, including phone, email, blogs, text and online support to help people beat their addiction,” says Bruce Bassett.

As expected, Quitline has been very busy in the first seven days of January 2013. Call volumes have increased by 0.3%, website visits increased by 13.9% and blog postings increased by 174% higher than the first 7 days in January 2012.

For the month of January 2012, 8,222 people quit smoking with Quitline’s help and Quitline expects a similar volume for January 2013.

The more Quitline services used, the better the quit rates*
-Phone-only quit rate is 21.1%
-On-line only 25.7%,
-Phone and online 30.6%.
-With Blog use, the quit rate increases further – phone, blog use and online us is 33.2%

*7-day Point Prevalence, Intention to Treat’. To explain: the survey respondent is ‘quit’ if that had not smoked at all in the last seven days, and that people in the sample that cannot be contacted are assumed to be smoking. This is a standard method internationally and provides a conservative estimate of the quit rate.

People who use Quitline’s services and support are five times more likely to successfully quit than those who quit alone. Anyone seeking support can call Quitline on 0800 778 778 or visit www.quit.org.nz for online support.

January 1 to 7 2013 Breakdown of Quit Attempts by region

Quit Attempts by region
Canterbury 259
Counties Manukau 234
Waitemata 205
Auckland 186
Southern 156
Lakes 64
Waikato 148
Wellington 144
Mid Central 125
Bay of Plenty 75
Hutt 74
Taranaki 74
Northland 67
Hawkes Bay 56
Nelson Marlborough 47
Whanganui 23
South Canterbury 21
Tairawhiti 16
Wairarapa 16
West Coast 11
Unknown region 170

Total 2171


RELEASE ENDS
About Quitline
The Quit Group (which operates as Quitline) is an incorporated charitable trust which was established in 1999. We are committed to helping all New Zealanders quit smoking, with a particular focus on Māori, Pacific peoples and pregnant women. Our free services are funded by the Ministry of Health.


ENDS


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