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Tap into smokefree tools this World Smokefree Day

Last Updated: May 2019

Media release 29 May 2019

In the days leading up to World Smokefree Day (WSFD) 2019, Taranaki’s Stop Smoking Service (TSSS) is urging people to use all the available tools to turn off the nicotine tap.

WSFD, marked each year on May 31, celebrates how far the country has come in reaching its smokefree Aotearoa target by 2025 – as well as reminding people of the free services available.

TSSS, at Tui Ora, boasts four stop smoking practitioners who are experienced, NZQA-qualified and follow a trialled and tested stop smoking methodology. On Friday, from 11am-1pm, they will sizzle sausages in Hawera’s town centre and kōrero with those willing to become smokefree.

One of those practitioners, George Rapana, says everyone person’s quit journey is different and what works for some, doesn’t for others. Cessation tools like gum, patches and medication boost quit rates, as do e-cigarettes or vaping.

“Vaping isn’t harmless but it is less harmful than smoking, and can be a substitute for some people in situations where they might have smoked,” says George.

That was the case for Krystal Smillie, a Tui Ora staff member who quit in November 2018 because of the rising cost of tobacco and her son’s dislike of her habit.

Once she got used to a vape, it was useful in managing nicotine cravings as well as ensuring she had something to do in social situations when she usually smoked. 

“I strongly believe that if I didn’t have it, there would be no way I would have given up.”

Another motivator was an app on her phone ‘Get Rich or Die Smoking’ that provided regular updates of the money she saved and how many cigarettes she had not smoked.

“When I feel I need a smoke I look at that, and it reminds me how much I’ve achieved.”

Krystal’s journey is typical because she tapped into a range of tools, says George. “Come to us first – we give people the benefit of on-going, face-to-face, intensive support and supervision. We can create a plan to manage cravings, and strategies to deal with situations where they might usually smoke. We know what works long-term.”

Increasing numbers of New Zealanders are living smokefree, with the most recent tobacco-use figures showing 84% of New Zealanders do not smoke. That’s 4% more than in 2008, ensuring the country is moving towards the Government’s goal of a smokefree Aotearoa in 2025, says George.

Further notes

The Taranaki Stop Smoking Service will be in the Hawera town centre from 11am-1pm running a free sausage sizzle and providing information about its service, available to anyone in Taranaki wishing to quit.

For media queries contact: Hinenui Wano-Bryant, Tui Ora public health team leader or 06 759 4064, Sarah Foy, Tui Ora senior communications advisor or 027 351 6803.

For information about referrals: or 06 759 4064

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