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Cost of smoking increasing, but quit and get $200 - MidCentral DHB

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Following a rise in the price of cigarettes and loose tobacco products from 1 January 2019, MidCentral DHB is expecting an increase in the number of people accessing stop smoking services.

MidCentral DHB Health Promotion Adviser Julie Beckett said there was plenty of free help available if people wanted to quit smoking.

"The cost of all tobacco products will rise by at least 10 per cent. That means a 50g pack of tobacco will set you back over a $100. If you smoke two packs a week 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.

"TOAM, a free stop smoking service that covers the MidCentral region, is currently running a promotion until January 31, 2019, where you can receive vouchers up to the value of $200 for quitting smoking. Call TOAM on 0800 40 50 11 or text on 021 40 50 11 for details."

TOAM provides free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, free quit coaches and free support with vape to quit, 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 the extra supports would 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 4000 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."

For Stop Smoking support contact: TOAM on 0800 40 50 11 or toam@tewakahuia.org.nz or Quitline 0800 778 778

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