Whitney Ferris remembers spending hundreds of dollars on smoking a week.

Now, the Hastings resident is older and wiser and she hasn't touched a cigarette since January. She had a good incentive to give up - her seventh baby.

Today is World Smokefree Day.

Ferris told Hawke's Bay Today that this time, she is confident she has quit for good.

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"I've smoked for 15 years, and quit a couple of times over the years," Ferris said.

The last time she gave up was four years ago, but she relapsed.

"I would have tried to give up four or five times.

"The last time I relapsed was four years ago when I was going through stressful times. I had three cigarettes, and that was all it took and I started smoking again.

"I didn't smoke much, maybe two packets a week, but I decided to give up for good in January again."

She had more than one reason to give up this time.

"Even though I hadn't smoked much I knew if I went back again it would be difficult to quit," she said.

"I stopped because I was six months pregnant with baby number seven, and I knew that smoking is bad for the baby and I didn't want to be a smoker. I wanted to make better choices.

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"I wasn't a huge smoker this time around and I didn't crave it as much."

Whitney Ferris, seven months pregnant and smokefree but using a vape. Photo / Supplied
Whitney Ferris, seven months pregnant and smokefree but using a vape. Photo / Supplied

Ferris was also part of a Hapu Mama smokefree programme called Te Haa Matea, which has a nappy incentive and also offers a vaping programme to help mothers and whanau quit, she said.

"The programme is run through the DHB, which is then filtered out to community organisations that offer smokefree programmes," Ferris said.

"Not only do you become smokefree healthier, but you and Pepi also receive lots of nappies and $100 voucher. There's also incentives for other whanau members who smoke and are living with you, so it's a win."

To help herself quit, she also used other means including Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), which provides a safe alternative to manage cravings in comparison to tobacco smoke, which has more than 4000 poisonous chemicals.

"The patches were successful, and I followed them up with vape."

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A week after the birth of Masden-Gray Tasi Ta'ala, and both mother and baby were doing well. Photo / Supplied
A week after the birth of Masden-Gray Tasi Ta'ala, and both mother and baby were doing well. Photo / Supplied

She said the hardest part was overcoming the urge to smoke.

"A smoker usually wants it first thing in the morning, and smoking helps deal with stuff happening," Ferris said.

"I had to change my routine- not go to certain places, or meet certain people, because smoking is social as well. I have to avoid the triggers.

"I've had to change my mindset to where I am now- I don't want to do it - and the patches and vaping helps. The urges decrease and you become less reliant on nicotine.

"And then over the course of quitting you lower the dose."

Quitting also brought with it added bonuses, including better health and enough funds for a holiday.

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"We are going on a holiday to Samoa with the money saved," she said.

"I never smoked openly, I always hid it, so my kids haven't really noticed any difference. But I feel physically better, I have no nicotine fingers, and my skin is good."

Her advice to people hoping to quit smoking?

"Getting through the first couple of weeks is always the hardest, so make sure you have a support person or team," she said.

"A work colleague of mine knew I was struggling so helped out. And persevere.

"Perseverance is key. It's not failure if you have a smoke or two. It's okay to hit the reset button and start again, but do start trying to quit again."

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