Every year thousands of kiwis escape their working lives for a few weeks for a summer holiday – epitomised by journeys to the beach, families and feasting, and of course the time-honoured tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Stopping smoking is consistently at the top of the list for New Year’s resolutions.
From 1 January 2018, the price of cigarettes and loose tobacco will go up another 10 percent as another scheduled tobacco tax increases takes effect.
2013 Census data shows more than 19,986 people in Northland aged 15-years and over smoke regularly (19.1 percent) compared to 15 percent nationally.
Bridget Rowse, Northland DHB Smokefree Advisor is urging smokers to beat the price increase and consider quitting this summer.
“We’re encouraging everyone to make stopping smoking their resolution this New Year. It’s a great opportunity to begin that journey to a smokefree life,” says Bridget.
"We are trying to put a stop to whānau dying needlessly from smoking-related diseases. More and more people are stopping smoking and we are seeing more outdoor public spaces become smokefree. It used to be very social and now it's not. Many kiwis don’t want smoking in their country anymore."
Bridget says, “The cost of smoking maybe going up, but the cost of quitting is free.”
So far this year 253 people have successfully stopped smoking in Northland using Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services. 75 percent of those who successfully stopped smoking were Māori which is good news given the Māori smoking rate at the 2013 last census in Northland was 34 percent.
Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are safe, and contain only a minimal amount of nicotine, and come packaged without any of the 4,000 chemicals (many of which are harmful) found in cigarettes - using patches, gum or lozenges you will double your chance of quitting for good.
The cost of smoking will continue to rise by 10 percent on January 1 each year for the next four years as part of the Government 2016 Budget announcement.
Tax hikes are part of a number of measures designed to move New Zealand towards The Government's goal of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025 – reducing smoking prevalence to less than 5 percent of the total population. The cost of quitting is still FREE.
Previous tobacco tax increases have reduced tobacco consumption per capita by around a quarter and prompted thousands of smokers to quit.
To stop smoking call:
Toki Rau Stop Smoking Services
Ph: 0508 TOKI RAU or 0508 8651 728
They provide FREE Northland wide face-to-face stop smoking support for individuals, whānau/family or group setting, with eight sites across Northland.