In a battle of quits Countdown staff in Taranaki are competing to stop smoking.
With the added incentive of a smokerlyser there's no hiding from the new smoking initiative aimed at helping staff at Countdown kick the habit.
A smokerlyser is a device which measures the carbon monoxide levels in a person's lungs, similar to the way a breathalyser measures breath-alcohol levels.
Now Countdown supermarkets in Taranaki are using them as part of a competition to pit staff at the supermarkets off against each other in the battle to quit smoking.
Run by Tui Ora, a Taranaki smoking cessation advocate, 20 staff from five Countdown supermarkets across the region have given up smoking in the lead up to World Smokefree Day on May 31.
Staff are tested every week by a smokerlyser and have to score a reading of under five in order to gain a pass for the week.
At the end of May the supermarket with the lowest overall smokerlyser score will win $1000 to split between the team.
Store manager at Countdown in The Valley Jess Stubbs had been smoking a pack a day for 22 years and was now four weeks into the challenge.
"I've never tried to quit before this, and to be honest I probably wouldn't have tried if it weren't for the competition," he said.
"I first blew a 32 on the smokerlyser but today I've blown a three."
Stubbs said the biggest benefits were financial and being able to go for a job without "coughing up gunk".
"There's also a bit of friendly competition going on among the stores.
"We call each other up after the tests and see what everyone's scored."
Tui Ora health promoter Carla Adlam said if all the competitors scored under five for the duration the payout would have to be split between all 20 of them.
"I highly doubt that would happen though," she said.
"If it came down to the wire we would break it down into what they blew each week."
Adlam said with 2025 under 10 years away - the date in which the government is aiming to have a smokefree New Zealand by - they needed to get more innovative with helping people quit. http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8...(external link)
For further information please contact:
Carla Adlam, Tui Ora health promoter, [email protected] or 06 759 4064 ext 6035