Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Smokers keen to kick the habit in 2013

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

More than 200 smokers, keen to kick the habit for their New Year's resolutions, contacted Quitline this morning.

Between 8am and 12pm, 75 people called in - almost double last year's New Year's Day total of 40.

A further 144 people contacted the organisation via email and blog, Quitline communications manger Jane MacPherson said.

"A lot of them will be wanting to give up for their New Year."

In total, 8222 people signed up to Quitline last January, compared to the January 2011 amount of 9383.

In 2010, only 4966 registered throughout January.

Ms MacPherson said the increase between 2010 and 2011 was likely due to the tobacco tax hikes.

"There was no tax increase in 2010."

Today also marked the first of four annual tobacco tax increases. Each year the tax will rise by 10 per cent.

Treasury previously said the hikes would result in a packet of 20 cigarettes costing about $20 by 2016.

Smokers trying to come clean this year will probably find the first six months the most challenging, Ms MacPherson said.

Figures show about one-in-five Quitline clients are successful after 12 months.

At six months, the quit rate is 24.2 per cent.

"That tells us it's a really low rate of relapse between six and 12 months," Ms MacPherson said.
About 62,500 people signed up with the Quitline service last year, she said.

Of that, 15,000 are still smoke-free.


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