Wellbeing Wednesday: Smokefree
This Friday is World Smokefree Day (known internationally as World No Tobacco Day) so we thought it was a fitting topic for this month’s Wellbeing Wednesday. Globally (but particularly here in New Zealand Aotearoa) governments are working towards a smokefree population. In NZ, the goal is to be a smokefree nation by 2025 so whether you’re a smoker or not, it’s a shared responsibility to help our friends, whanau and ourselves to help make a healthier New Zealand.
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Commit to Quit’ or ‘Whakamutu’. As outlined by smokefree.org.nz, the theme means “drawing a line in the sand and committing to yourself, to your hauora, to your whakapapa, to our whenua or to anyone/anything that can and will claim your birth right to fresh air!”
The objectives of World Smokefree Day in New Zealand are:
- raising awareness and contributing to the achievement of the Smokefree 2025 goal
- raising awareness of the smokefree kaupapa with the underlying objectives of reducing exposure to second-hand smoke and increasing quit attempts
- enabling continuity and consistency of messaging and creative across the country
- building on and complementing current work in tobacco control.
So, without further ado, here are some resources and information on how to help support this cause.
Benefits of quitting
We’re kicking off this list with a detailed timeline of the health benefits of quitting, from just 4 hours, up to 15 years.
Quitline is a 24/7 support agency here to help you (or a loved one) quit smoking. They offer a range of resources and support lines, including a freephone number (0800 778 778) and text (4006), a community blog, a Facebook page, and a website. They also provide nicotine patches, gum and lozenges to assist with nicotine addiction.
Local Stop Smoking Services
Head to the National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service website to find local stop-smoking centres and their contact details. From Northland to South Canterbury, there’s a service for anyone needing help to fight the addiction of smoking.
Tips for quitting
Here is a list of the many ways and reasons for the motivation to quit (thanks to Quitline)
- change your routines and habits
- Try nicotine patches, gum and lozenges
- Avoid situations that make you want to smoke
- Try to reduce some of the stresses in your life
- Make your home smokefree and get rid of ashtrays
- Wash all your ‘smoky’ clothes and furnishings
- Clean your car and keep it smokefree
- Cut down on alcohol
- Brush your teeth with a fresh minty toothpaste
- Book into your dentist to have your teeth cleaned
- Do things you enjoy – give yourself treats
- Keep a drink bottle filled with water with you
- Phone a friend for support
- Take time out for yourself
- Put up a list of reasons you quit somewhere you can see it
- Plan what to do when you go where there might be smokers– e.g., chew gum
- Practise saying “I don’t smoke”, “I am a non-smoker”, or “I’m not smoking anymore”
- Tell yourself it doesn’t matter what other people think
- Spend time with non-smokers or ex-smokers
- Go for a walk when you are stressed or upset
- Reward yourself with a treat from some of the money you’ve saved
- Remember the 4 Ds if you get cravings – Delay, Drink water, Deep breathe, Do something else
- Keep yourself busy
- Learn about relaxation – it’s about “letting go”
Vaping to quit smoking
There are studies that prove the effectiveness of using vapes as a method of quitting. The primary difference between vapes and cigarettes is how they deliver the nicotine hit; cigarettes dispense nicotine through burning of the substance, whereas vaping delivers the nicotine by heating a liquid in a less harmful manner. This isn’t to say vaping isn’t without its risks and the long-term goal would be to eventually stop vaping too. Head to Smokefree or speak to a professional about how vaping can be a stepping stone to kicking the habit.
Cost of smoking calculator
If part of the reason you’re wanting to ditch the cigarettes is the hefty price tag, check out this online calculator which works out a weekly, monthly, yearly, 5-yearly and decade cost of your habit… The results might come as a shock!
Additionally, if you go the route of utilising vaping on your journey to quitting, vaping is approximately 10%* of the cost of smoking (besides the initial setup cost). *data from Smokefree
Facts & figures
If you’re interested in finding out more statistics about smoking in NZ, take a look at the facts and figures here.