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Quit now! Give your lungs a chance

Quit now! Give your lungs a chance

31 May is World Smokefree Day 2013 – Quit now, it's about whanau

"We say: ' Quit now!' You can do it with the right support!" said Angela Francis, chief executive of the Asthma Foundation.

Saturday, 31 May is World Smokefree Day and the Asthma Foundation is urging New Zealanders who smoke to quit, and give their lungs a chance. An estimated 170,000 New Zealanders live with respiratory problems due to smoking.

"Lower smoking rates are a critical factor in our efforts to reduce the burden of respiratory disease in the community," said Dr Kyle Perrin, medical director for the Asthma Foundation.

As well as causing 5,000 deaths each year, smoking has many negative health effects for those with a respiratory condition, including it being the main cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. Smoking is a major asthma trigger for some people and can make asthma control harder to achieve while increasing the need for medication.

As a founding member of the Smokefree Coalition, the Foundation is right behind the campaign for a Smokefree Aotearoa. "Our tamariki deserve the best chance to thrive and be healthy; reducing smoking uptake through plain packaging and increasing taxes on tobacco are positive steps in the right direction," said Angela. "Members of our COPD support groups regularly tell us how much they regret smoking and would like to warn other people of the dangers involved."
"Every cigarette does damage," says Dr Perrin. "Whatever age you are, however long you have smoked, whether you have been diagnosed with COPD or not, quitting can make a meaningful difference to you and your whanau."

This World Smokefree Day, Quitline is encouraging anyone who has tried to quit before to get back in touch with them. "It is really normal to take several attempts to quit smoking and it is important that people don't feel like they have failed - I personally took four serious attempts before I quit for good", says Quitline chief executive, Paula Snowden.

The good news is that there's more support available than ever. Through Quitline, smokers get to talk to advisors, get on-line advice, have quitting tips and supportive messages texted to their mobile phone or receive daily email updates on how much money they are saving by not smoking.

If you want help quitting, call the Quitline on 0800 778 778, or visit


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