Quit to win prizes

By Ilona Hanne

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Photo credit: 123rf
Photo credit: 123rf

The launch of a New Year New You stop smoking campaign for Taranaki is timely - it comes as smokers contemplate the first of many price hikes.

In 2016 the Government committed to increasing the tax take on tobacco products by 10 per cent with the first price increase happening on January 1, 2017. A pack of cigarettes now costs up to $25 and by 2020, it will be around $30.

The New Year New You 2017 campaign was launched this week by the Taranaki Stop Smoking Service, which is part of Tui Ora. It sees successful quitters being offered the chance to win a $1000 cash prize.

Figures show that around two million Kiwis are likely to have made New Year's resolutions focusing on health and wellbeing - stopping smoking is one of the most common ones although it's also one of the hardest.

Individuals, groups and whnau members are encouraged to register by January 16 with a team of experts on hand to help people kick the habit.

Tui Ora Public Health service leader Tamara Ruakere says, "If you are a smoker there is nothing better you can do for yourself or your whnau than to stop smoking."

She says quitting is tough - quit coaches know that because many are ex-smokers. "We don't underestimate the challenge so we encourage people to grab their mates, get a family or work group together and support each other through the process."

Quit coaches provide ongoing support on the quit smoking journey. The programme includes weekly support and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) such as patches, lozenges and gum. The service is free, confidential and mobile, meaning quit coaches can come to individuals and groups.

In addition to the cash prize, vouchers and spot prizes are also up for grabs. To be eligible to win people need to be smokefree at four weeks after their agreed quit day. Quit coaches use a carbon monoxide monitor to verify results.

For further details or to register for the Taranaki stop smoking challenge contact: Taranaki Stop Smoking Service, 06 759 7314, email tsss@tuiora.co.nz, see the Tui Ora Public Health Team Facebook page or www.tuiora.co.nz.

To qualify for the prizes, registration is required before January 16.

- Stratford Press

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