New Year’s Guide to Triumphing over Smoking

5/365 - I'm smoke free!

‘5/365 – I’m smoke free!’ Phaedra Rhodes

I was driving up Ngamotu Road a couple of years ago when someone on Radio New Zealand National made a brilliant suggestion.

Given what we know about the power of hope and positive thinking, perhaps the Ministry of Health has got it wrong about the warnings on packets of smokes. Rather than pictures of diseased lungs and reminders of the different ways smoking hurts people, perhaps they could give helpful, encouraging messages, like ‘You have the power to give up smoking!’

People are motivated to quit smoking more in the new year than at most other times, and this year there’s a ten per cent tax rise in New Zealand expected to boost that trend.

So I thought I’d provide a few little encouragements if you’re interested in choosing a different way of doing things this year.

Here’s my first brainstorm of encouraging messages to go on cigarette packets (I’ve tried very hard not to be passive aggressive/guilt-trippy):

  • You can succeed in quitting smoking.
  • What else would you like to spend your cigarette money on?
  • You deserve to feel healthier.
  • There’s lots of help available if you want to quit.
  • You can blog through your quitting at!
  • Every hour you don’t smoke improves your health.
  • You can set a great example for your kids by going smokefree.
  • [From Quitline:] It’s never too late to quit for your baby.

Eighteen per cent of Kiwi adults smoke, down from 28 per cent in 1990. In the last twenty years there has been a concerted campaign of national smoking cessation initiatives and legislation like the Smokefree Environments Act.

From a parenting angle, it’s clear from research on second-hand smoke and the influences on young people taking up smoking that going smokefree has enormous benefits for kids, too.

Quitline is an amazing online (and phone-based) resource for quitting smoking, and ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) has a bunch of tips and resources if you’re keen to give it a go.

Your GP would love to help you quit and will be full of ideas and support, including hugely subsidised nicotine replacement options if you’re interested. They’re also subsidised and posted to you if you register with Quitline.

And if I’ve been clever enough, clicking on this button will take you right there!

Click to Quit - Free stop smoking help

If you have any stories or tips or encouragements to add – positive vibes only, please – then please leave a comment below. Thanks! Happy quitting!

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0 comments on “New Year’s Guide to Triumphing over Smoking”

  1. Spaghetti Reply

    Brilliant – great idea! I’ll do my best to suggest this idea to someone ‘on the inside’ !

  2. Lawrence Mikkelsen Reply

    One really useful approach (which is a bit guilt-trippy, mind) is that children of smokers are statistically WAAAAY more likely to become smokers themselves. Can’t remember the actual figure (though Vanessa would know) but its horribly high. Most smokers don’t want their children to take up smoking, and I think that’s a really good approach to take. If you smoke, chances are your kids will too …

  3. Lawrence Mikkelsen Reply

    Another approach I’ve thought about, to target gen-x/gen-y, would be to show pictures of the CEOs of the big tobacco companies with their salaries, and some kind message like “Mr XXX is getting paid XXX to help you die”. I always find it funny how many anti-corporate hipsters are happy to line the pockets of Big Tobacco by smoking.

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