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Tobacco outweighs the cost of food and groceries

MEDIA RELEASE – 20 May 2014
Tobacco outweighs the cost of food and groceries

The cost of living is not getting any cheaper in New Zealand. When tobacco addiction is added into the mix, the challenge to pay bills and keep food on the table is that much harder.

Quitting smoking saves money and for so many Tairawhiti families, staying ahead of the bills and keeping food on the table is a real challenge. For the 15% of New Zealanders that smoke the pressure can be even greater.

“For an average 10-a-day smoker, you’re looking at over $50 a week, $250 a month or $3000 a year going on smoking. This is a lot of money and it quickly starts to add up” Aporina Chapman, Tairawhiti District Health’s (TDH) tobacco control health promotion advisor explains.

“That’s equivalent to a block of cheese and two litres of milk, or public transport costs covered, each day – an extra tank of gas each week, your monthly phone and power bills combined or a trip to Australia and back for a family of four each year,” Ms Chapman adds.

May 31 is World Smokefree Day and TDH is encouraging smokers to make the most of the occasion and quit for good. The focus for this year’s World Smokefree Day is about quitting now and whānau taking control by supporting and encouraging each other to make it happen.

Services like Quitline provide a free service to quit smoking offering a quit pack and support over the phone, online and by text. There is also an increasing range of medical products and nicotine therapies available, from as little as $5 per product for an 8-week supply.

“World Smokefree Day is the perfect opportunity to quit. Trade in the cigarettes for a full tank of gas – literally and figuratively. Or pick up another loaf of bread, some milk and some cheese instead of that cigarette packet,” TDH’s chief executive Jim Green urges. “It’s about whānau and being there for future generations. Take up the challenge and take a step towards a smokefree Aotearoa and quit smoking on 31 May, World Smokefree Day.”

For help and support to quit smoking, contact your local health providers, Aukati KaiPaipa service Ngati Porou Hauora Ph 8632890, Turanga Health Ph 869 0457 or Quitline (0800 778 778 or


Background information

• For more information on World Smokefree Day, go to:
• World Smokefree Day was created by the World Health Organisation in 1987. In other countries it is known as World No Tobacco Day.

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