Level 4 lockdown may have been about breaking the chain of COVID-19 transmission, but it also helped some people to reassess their health and stub out their smoking habits.
Hawke’s Bay DHB maternal and child smokefree coordinator Alena Edmonds said its team continued to support clients who were part-way through their smokefree programmes during lockdown via phone consults and contactless deliveries of nicotine replacement therapies.
“This Sunday, 31 May, is World Smokefree Day and certainly more people in Hawke’s Bay will be celebrating their journey toward becoming smokefree.
“If anything, Level 4 lockdown gave people time to really think about their habits, the cost of smoking and the impact on their health.
“Instead of lighting up a cigarette, light bulb moments happened instead. Lockdown really helped some of our clients to start thinking differently about their life and focus on how they could deal better with triggers and craving periods.
“We have clients who began their journey during lockdown and are already celebrating seven weeks smokefree,” she said.
Mrs Edmonds says while the choice to quit will always be a personal one, it was important people knew good support networks were in place to help them achieve their smokefree goals.
Hawke’s Bay DHB works in partnership with Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, Te Kupenga Hauora – Ahuriri and Choices Kahungunu health services to provide a variety of free smokefree supports by qualified stop smoking practitioners through a regional stop smoking service, Te Haa Matea (easy breath) Hawke’s Bay.
Last year, 1 January to 31 December 2019, Te Haa Matea successfully supported 425 people to become smokefree. People who quit smoking save on average $12,000 per year (based on smoking a pack of cigarettes per day).
“We offer this free service from Wairoa to Central Hawke’s Bay. People can refer themselves via the team’s Facebook page or by calling our freephone number 0800 300 377, or they can be referred by their family doctor or midwife.
“Te Haa Matea provides a whole wraparound package of support from group or one-on-one support sessions to free nicotine replacement therapy and other incentives along the way, such as free nappy packs for pregnant women who successfully give up smoking.”
World Smokefree Day is held on 31 May every year. It provides an opportunity to encourage and help those who want to quit as well as support friends and whānau who have already started that journey.
- Te Haa Matea Stop Smoking Services: Freephone 0800 300 377
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/TeHaaMatea/