At almost 64 years old, Napier man Dave Boyd wouldn't have been anything unusual as a cigarette smoker.
There was a smoker or two around when he was a youngster growing up in eastern Bay of Plenty and on the East Coast, and with other pre-teens he would pinch a few fags or pop down to the local store or petrol station to buy a packet of tens.
His mum and dad, who worked in the local pub, one in the bar the other in the kitchen, found out and made the kids smoke whole cigars to teach them a lesson.
It may have worked on some of them, but as Dave and his mates became older teenagers it became easier to get their fags. There was even a vending machine at the service station.
Dave Boyd's been a smoker and a worker virtually ever since, an engineer by trade who had 14 years in the New Zealand Army.
He's tried giving smoking up a few times. "Four," he says, of which three didn't work.
But he now has to to battle the Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer he is hopeful of beating, because he wants to live and see the grandkids grow up.
He says it's not necessarily the case that the smoking caused it, and, in any event, he says the experts said his lungs were working fine.
But he's taken the hint and is now becoming one of the success stories for Quitline, the Government-backed quit-smoking programme run by Homecare Medical, particularly in its focus of improving Maori health by bringing down disproportionately higher smoker rates.
Survey statistics in 2018 indicated 29 per cent of Maori men smoke regularly, and for women the rates were even higher, at 36 per cent.
Quitline service delivery manager Jordan Taiaroa says that "behavioural support" is a big part of the programme, which for Boyd included use of patches and lozenges. The support is the "korowai effect", the wrapping-around needed to help reverse the addiction.
"We will find out what their strengths are, what are the triggers of their smoking," he said.
Boyd said when he smoked heavily he ate less healthily. Calculating he's saved $450 in three months since giving up, he has money for more veges, to help with the futures of his grandchildren and dabble on the sharemarket with the hope he'll save even more.
Highlighting the futility of some of his previous attempts to kick the habit, he recalls throwing or giving away a packet still containing some of the cigarettes.
"That didn't work," he said, "and I had to go back down to the shop and buy another packet."
He tried "cold turkey", but that didn't work either.
He smoked "on and off" for about 40 years, and a few months ago was a 10-a-day man. Starting to notice the cost before he entered the Quitline programme (at quit.org.nz), he was directed to a "Quit coach", and embarked on the programme, ultimately, er, tailor-made for his own circumstances.
"I started in June," he said. "This is the longest I've gone."