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Free NRT packs proving successful

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Community pharmacies and the rise in excise tax on tobacco have contributed to the increase in Quitline numbers from the MidCentral DHB region.

​In the last quarter of 2014, 457 people from the MidCentral region registered with Quitline with another 260 registering in January following the price hike in tobacco. Pharmacy referrals to MidCentral community-based stop smoking services Te Ohu Auahi Mutunga (TOAM) have also increased. 

MDHB Health Promotion Advisor Julie Beckett is pleased by these numbers.

She said: “These numbers show that the message is getting through, and that providing support in the community for people to stop smoking is working. We are very fortunate to have the support of some amazing community pharmacies who are actively promoting our free NRT packs. 

“The success of the packs shows that pharmacies are an important point of contact for our communities, and as such, these packs continue to be available for anyone who is seeking help. Some pharmacies have even been promoting packs to people who are known smokers when they come in to fill other prescriptions. This is fantastic proactive thinking and will help us get to a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025.

“We work very hard to encourage people to stop smoking, so that they can enjoy the health and lifestyle benefits that come with stubbing out the cigarettes. If people want to quit, they should pop into one of the participating pharmacies and grab a pack. While you’re there they can link you with TOAM for someone to help you through the process, whether that involves face-to-face meetings, text message support, phone calls, it’s up to the individual. We just want them to know that they are there to help, right across the MidCentral district.”

The NRT packs, which are available at community pharmacies around the MidCentral district, include nicotine patches, and gum or lozenge. When people pick up one of these packs they are offered a referral to TOAM, or to other stop smoking providers such as Quitline and Aukati Kaipaipa. 

Participating pharmacies:

Palmerston North:
Cook St
Hospital Health
City Health
Radius, The Palms

Woodville Medicine Depot

Amcal Gimbletts
Horowhenua Health Centre
Unichem Levin
Tararua Levin

Smiths Amcal
Unichem Tattons

Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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