Following a rise in the price of cigarettes and loose tobacco products from 1 January 2018, MidCentral DHB is expecting an increase in the number of people accessing stop smoking services.
It says there is plenty of free help available if people want to quit smoking.
MidCentral DHB Health Promotion Advisor Julie Beckett said: “The cost of a pack of cigarettes is going up by a minimum of 10% to at least $27.50 a pack – that’s over $1 per cigarette. For a pack a day smoker that’s over $10,000 a year spent on the habit. After the last tobacco price increase there was a sharp increase in the number of people accessing stop smoking services and we are expecting the same this time.
“Many smokers would love to quit, and tobacco price increases combined with New Year’s resolutions provide an opportunity to begin that journey.
“There is a wide range of support available to help people to quit smoking, including TOAM - a MidCentral-wide, community-based, free stop smoking service. TOAM provides free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, together with face to face support, texting, group support or phone calls.”
Community pharmacists around the MidCentral district are also providing smokers with brief advice to quit, free nicotine patches, gum or lozenge packs, and support to quit smoking.
Beckett said: “These extra supports will double the chances of the smoker quitting.
“Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are safe, and contain only a minimal amount of nicotine. They come packaged without any of the 4,000 chemicals (many of which are harmful) found in cigarettes.
"We are trying to put a stop to whānau dying needlessly from smoking-related diseases. More and more people are quitting and we are seeing more outdoor public spaces become smoke free. Smoking used to be very social, and now it's just not.”
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945