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Let's hear it for the quitters on World Smokefree Day

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Quitline congratulates the 10,000 people who enrolled in the Service in the last year, and especially the 25 percent of those who successfully stopped smoking!

Quitline Service Delivery Manager Jordan Taiaroa says that as many of the Service's support team are former smokers, they know how hard it can be to stop.

"Some of the people who successfully quit smoking this year may have been fairly new to the habit, others will have been pack-a-day, lifelong smokers. To all who those who quit, 'pai ana tāu mahi awesome work'!"

Despite the success of the Service, there are still more than 500,000 people smoking in New Zealand.

"Quitline is here to help any and every smoker. We speak over 150 languages and we’re a free service, available 24/7, via text, phone, webchat.

We won’t judge you on your habit or where you’re currently at with it."

In the last year, 23,500 people contacted Quitline seeking advice and information on how to stop. Mr Taiaroa says his team are on standby to chat to those who made the first step and contacted the Service but are yet to enrol.

"Quitting isn’t always a fast process. For some it’s step-by-step, they want to have a think about it, and come back to us later. So, for those people - ka pai! We’re here for you, when you’re ready."

Quitline clinical lead Dr Lindy Matthews says the way we talk to friends or whānau about their smoking can make a significant difference to whether they feel motivated to kick the habit or keep it.

"Some of us apply value judgements when we see people we know light up, often because we are concerned for them.

"But many people still smoking in Aotearoa have had too much experience of being judged for things they have no control over - their ethnicity, their job status, where they live, and the list goes on. Any whiff of judgment will not only have the opposite effect, it may alienate the very person you are trying to help."

"Most smokers already feel powerful amounts of shame each time they light a cigarette, which can actually stop them from reaching out for help.

"I really encourage everyone to offer support to smokers, whether or not they’re ready to quit," says Dr Matthews.

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