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Its About Whanau - Helping whanau to Quit

Lucy Kennedy is a Quit Coach based at Kokiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust out at Seaview, Lower Hutt . Recently, Lucy’s Client, Patrick was referred by Hutt Valley Hospital , to get help to quit smoking, Patrick asked Lucy if she could also help his Partner, Sonia and cousin, Kashmir to stop smoking as they all lived together in Petone and they knew that they were more likely to succeed if they all made a commitment together.

With this first contact Lucy enrolled all three on to the free six week programme and their Journey to quit started.

Patrick and Kashmir both started smoking at nine years old, and Sonia was eight years old when she started. This was the first time Sixty year old Patrick had ever tried to stop smoking, , and Kashmir aged 64, and Sonia aged 50 years old had tried many times to quit unsuccessfully.

Patrick, Kashmir and Sonia say that they have two main reasons why they have decided to quit, for their fifteen Mokopuna (grandchildren), and for their health, with the financial benefits a bonus.

Sonia said “Because I started with 3 packets of cigarettes a day and Patrick would go to work and come back and I’ll still have the 3 packets on the table. Then I started having one and started smoking again and then I would start coughing again I didn’t like the coughing so I stopped again’.

Patrick said “ I bought her some new teeth and now my misses can smile so she don’t need to smoke”.

Combined they use to spend over $1386.00 a week on cigarettes and sometimes they would start collecting cigarette butts from ashtrays and public bins so that they could satisfy their addiction to cigarettes. This is when they knew things had to change as they were using the food bank to get their food and they were ashamed that they had resorted to picking through bins to get their fix.

Since signing up with the Regional Stop Smoking Service, things have dramatically changed for the better for them all, they are all Smokefree together, they are saving the money they use to spend and have food in their cupboards, and they have not had to go to food banks to help get them through the week. More importantly their whanau are proud of them and the role models they are trying to be for their mokopuna, this whanau is helping each other to quit as “It is about Whanau”

To start your Smokefree journey with Takiri Mai Te Ata Regional Stop Smoking Service go to www.takirimai.org.nz or phone 0800 926 257

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