Tomorrow is World Smokefree Day and expectant Northland women will be given a hand to quit their habits.

While 19.1 per cent of Northlanders smoke - the highest rate in the country, which averages 15 per cent nationally - it's down from the 24 per cent who smoked in the mid-1990s. Increasing numbers of New Zealanders are living smokefree, with the most recent tobacco-use figures show 84 percent of New Zealanders do not smoke.

Tomorrow midwives in Northland will be providing pregnant women who smoke with sample packs of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the hope they will try and attempt to become smokefree.

"Manaakitia te māhuri he tupuna kei roto - Nothing is more important than giving new life," Northland DHB Smoking Cessation Kaitiaki Csarndra Ogle said.


"By supporting hapū māmā to become smokefree during pregnancy, they are taking steps towards protecting themselves, their whānau and their whakapapa.''

The free Pēpi and Hapū Māmā packs contain a variety of nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum and the very popular inhalators , which are exclusively free through this incentive.

They are also encouraging mama to accept a referral to the free Northland wide stop smoking services programme Toki Rau who have provided the NRT for these packs.

With eight sites across Tai Tokerau, Toki Rau offers face-to-face support provided in an individual, whānau/family or group setting, and ongoing encouragement to participants throughout the smokefree journey.

They also provide information on other non-funded stop smoking medicines available.

Toki Rau is accessible to midwives, other health professionals and whanau by calling 0508 Toki Rau (0508 865 4727).