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Most smokers want to quit - World Smokefree Day 2016

23 May 2016

Most smokers want to quit - World Smokefree Day 2016

Smoking rates in New Zealand continue to drop.

Nelson Public Health Smokefree Coordinator, Karen Vis says according to the census the rates fell from 20.7 per cent in 2006 to 15.1 per cent in 2013.

“It’s encouraging that people are continuing to quit smoking, which allows them to lead and enjoy a smokefree life,” she says. “These figures also support the notion that most smokers want to quit but may not always have the support they need.”

World Smokefree Day on 31 May aims to raise awareness of how to become smokefree and what support is available for people to wanting to quit.

Karen says celebrating the day also supports the vision of a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025.

“Smokefree 2025 is about protecting our future generations, supporting those who want to be smokefree and reducing the presence of tobacco in our community.”

Research indicates that at least eight out of every 10 people who smoke regret starting, and six in every 10 have tried quitting in the last five years.

Cynthia de Joux, Quit Coach for Wairau Hospital acknowledges that quitting smoking isn’t easy and it takes courage. However, she says there is a lot of support available to help and encourage people so they don’t feel alone.

“The benefits of being a non-smoker and leading a healthy life make it all worthwhile,” she says. “Our job is to make it as easy as possible to quit.”

Cynthia says there’s effective support for those who want to quit whether it is face-to-face, online or phone support services. She says Quit Coaches can connect people with services and share the tools and strategies best suited to each person to enable them to become smokefree.

“Some people quit with a friend, others know their whānau are in their corner cheering them on – but you don’t have to do it alone,” explains Cynthia. “It’s about empowering people for their own futures, free of addiction, and we’ve all got a role to play in supporting that.”

Nelson Hospital’s Quit Coach Sarah McKenzie says it’s important people realise if they haven’t been able to quit it’s not a failure and not to give up.

“It’s all part of the quit journey,” she says “For some people it can take more than one attempt to give up smoking but the fact they’ve taken the steps to quit smoking is a positive start and we encourage people to use all the support they can.”

Sarah says smokers also have a role to play in discouraging others from taking up smoking.

“If there is someone in your family that is thinking about quitting there are things you can do to support them,” she says. “It might be as simple as creating a smokefree home and car, or considering turning quitting into a competition.”


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