Editorial: Make the effort to bin those cigarettes

By Kelly Makiha


I don't want to be one of those horrible ex-smokers who get on people's cases for smoking.

But recently there has been some interesting news. There are big numbers of people trying to give up smoking still but the numbers are dropping in parts of the Bay of Plenty.

About 5000 New Zealanders die annually from smoking-related illnesses. Quitline received 41,738 calls to August 31 this year from smokers nationally wanting to quit.

In the year-to-date, 947 people have registered with Quitline in the Lakes district, down on the 1063 recorded the same time last year.

Ninety-six people from the Lakes district registered with Quitline in August, compared with 191 in January.

Quitline quantifies the drop in local numbers as there being a smaller pool of smokers in general, therefore a smaller number of people wanting to quit.

I realise January is the fashionable month to quit smoking after New Year's resolutions have been declared but here's hoping the decline isn't a new trend.

It's also a worry there are fewer people so far this year registering to quit compared with the same time last year.

As a former smoker, I can tell you it's not easy to give up.

Quitting was the hardest thing I've done.

I didn't ask for help, instead went cold turkey.

That was tough going, but for me it worked.

The first two weeks were a nightmare and, to be blatantly honest, I was a right cow during this period.

But the cravings soon stopped.

Smoking can be your best friend.

You smoke when you're happy, you smoke when you're sad, you smoke when you're stressed, you smoke when you're bored.

You can also make best friends with other smokers all huddled outside gossiping about this and that.

I definitely miss my smoking buddies, but I don't miss smoking - not for one second.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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