Electronic cigarettes key to kicking tobacco

By Kelsey Wilkie

Wanganui Peoples Centre fieldworker Gary Reid has been smoking for 45 years but stopped in September because a woman he works with was quitting.

"I tried to quit four years ago using the patches, it worked for a bit but I fell back into my bad habits," he said.

Mr Reid gave up cigarettes five months ago and has found electronic cigarettes have worked for him.

"You just plug them into your computer and they charge up, I use mine in the morning or when I'm having a drink.

"I'm getting older so it's probably better for my health," he added.

The electronic cigarettes, like patches, have a small amount of nicotine in them.

Mr Reid says he remembers when smoking was banned in pubs and everyone complained.

"You don't hear anyone complaining now, it's just the norm."

Mr Reid is five months smoke-free at a time when many people are considering giving up tobacco.

Quitline reports 23 people in the Wanganui region used the service in the first week of 2013, a popular time for people time to stop smoking. They joined 2000 others from around the country.

"We are thrilled that so many New Zealanders want to quit smoking, improving their own health and the health of their family," said Quitline's Bruce Bassett.

Quitline's Quit Blogs have almost trebled in use, with 2476 people blogging in the first week of January compared to 963 for the same period in 2012.

Tobacco tax increases undoubtedly provide the trigger to pack it in that some smokers needed, he said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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