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Sixty years Smoking Stopped in its Tracks

Two WelTec staff have started 2014 smokefree and they are already feeling the benefits big time. “All WelTec campuses became Smokefree on 1 January so this has been a great incentive to quit smoking for good,” says Windy Sione, WelTec’s Pasifika student mentor. “I can actually breathe properly and I’ve stopped coughing continuously,” says Therese Keil. “When you see people smoking you want to smoke. Without that daily reminder it’s much easier to stay smokefree.”

Windy who joined her friend and colleague Therese Keil to be smokefree have smoked for 60 years between them. “I’ve been addicted to smoking since I was 15 and Therese has smoked since she was 12 years old. That’s a long time and a lot of money,” says Windy. “Just before Christmas my 6 year old son started asking me when I was giving up smoking. With WelTec going Smokefree on 1 January and my decision to be a healthy Mum the timing was perfect. It really helps not having smokers around you and it sends a better message to our students to not be smoking myself.”

Therese’s children just couldn’t believe it when she gave up her 25 a day smoking habit. “They were amazed. My children have never seen me not smoking. I learnt to smoke as a child in Samoa and then the habit really took hold while I was boarding at secondary school. Since giving up I feel healthier and people are telling me I look better which is a big plus!” says Therese.

The decision to go Smokefree across all WelTec campuses was straightforward says WelTec’s HR Director Mark Broadbent, “It’s about promoting healthy lifestyles in a Smokefree learning environment. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from staff about the decision to go Smokefree. Our students begin their orientation on 24 February and we’ll be reinforcing the Smokefree message as well then. When two long-time smokers like Windy and Therese give up you know you’ve made the right move.”


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