INDEPENDENT NEWS

Big jump in number of NZers quitting smoking

Published: Mon 30 Oct 2006 12:00 AM
Monday 30 October 2006
Media release
Big jump in number of New Zealanders quitting smoking
There’s been a 32 percent increase in the number of people who smoke registering on the Quitline programme to stop smoking.
The Quit Group’s Executive Director Helen Glasgow says 8453 people registered on the programme in April, May and June this year, compared to 6384 in the same three months last year.
Ms Glasgow says the increase in quit attempts is probably the result of new television campaigns and increased publicity about the risks of smoking.
“People are starting to realise that smoking affects their health, as well as the health of their children.
Māori Services Advisor Jon Royal says the number of Māori callers to the Quitline has increased by nearly 60 percent, with 1904 registrations in April to June 2006 compared to 1210 in the same period last year. He says Māori people who smoke should not be afraid to give quitting a go.
“It’s hard to quit but Māori need to take advantage of help on offer -There’s Quitline, local health providers, whanau, friends and other quitters.”
The Quitline 0800 778 778 offers low cost nicotine patches and gum with the first four weeks costing $5.00. The Quit Group has also recently launched a new website www.quit.org.nz to support people who want to quit. Quitters who register on the site can post blogs (diaries or journals) about their quit attempt and use calculators to work out how much money they have saved from not smoking.
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Benefits of quitting
Time since last cigarette Benefits
20 minutes Heart rate drops
12 hours Blood levels of carbon monoxide drop dramatically
72 hours Sense of taste and smell improve. Circulation improves
2 weeks –3 months Heart attack risk begins to drop, lung function improves
1 year Risk of coronary heart disease is halved after one year compared to continuing smokers
ENDS

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