Anti-smoking agencies took their fight to fans of the New Zealand Warriors yesterday at Mt Smart Stadium.
Smokers were offered free nicotine replacement therapy lozenges.
Quit-tobacco coaches gave free consultations to help the smokers defeat their cravings.
Fans were encouraged to use the lozenges to help them get through the match against the South Sydney Roosters without taking a puff
Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor joined the Warriors' non-playing reserves in handing out the free lozenges, which he said doubled the chances of a smoker quitting.
Action on Smoking and Health director Ben Youdan said the ultimate goal for the stadium was to go entirely smokefree. Smokefree outdoor seated areas were introduced to Mt Smart Stadium last season.
Yesterday's event was part of the lead-up to Saturday's World Smokefree Day.
About 700,000 New Zealanders smoke, and the habit kills about 5000 Kiwis each year, according to Ministry of Health figures.By Craig Borley Email Craig