Chew­ing gum is more fun

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Morgan

Hailie Verry is one of thou­sands of New Zealan­ders who have kicked the smok­ing habit.

A Health Min­istry sur­vey re­leased re­cently shows the num­ber of adult Kiwi smok­ers has dipped be­low 20 per­cent for the first time in 30 years.

Fig­ures show about 150,000 fewer adults are smok­ing since the pre­vi­ous sur­vey, five years ear­lier.

Ms Verry de­cided to make a fresh start when she be­gan a new job a month ago.

She started smok­ing 10 years ago as a 12-year-old be­cause her friends were do­ing it.

Us­ing sub­sidised nico­tine patches from Quit­line, the 22-yearold has stopped smok­ing al­to­gether.

“At the end of the day I’ll no­tice I’m not wear­ing a patch.”

But the cen­tral city res­i­dent’s need to re­place light­ing up with some­thing else is also a chal­lenge she has had to over­come.

“Chew­ing gum is a huge thing,” she says. “I play with my mo­bile a lot too.”

With most of her fam­ily liv­ing in Aus­tralia, Ms Verry says sup­port from friends and Quit­line helped her stay off the cig­a­rettes, af­ter pre­vi­ous at­tempts to give up failed.

“Willpower comes into play but it’s eas­ier do­ing it when you’ve got some­one to re­port back to.”

She has also no­ticed an in­crease in her bank bal­ance since she stopped smok­ing up to 20 cig­a­rettes a day, which cost her around $70 a week.

“I don’t want to work out how much money I spent on them in the last few years.”

And she has dis­cov­ered the ben­e­fit of not hav­ing to go out­side dur­ing the mid­dle of win­ter for a smoke.

“The cold is def­i­nitely a big de­ter­rent,” she says.

Prime Min­is­ter He­len Clark says the fig­ures show mea­sures like smoke­free leg­is­la­tion and sub­sidised patches are work­ing.

The study car­ried out be­tween Oc­to­ber 2006 and Novem­ber 2007 also shows sig­nif­i­cant drops in the num­ber of Maori and Pa­cific peo­ple smok­ing.

And an­other sur­vey has re­vealed a drop in rates among year 10 stu­dents, from 28.6 per­cent in 1999 to 12.8 per­cent in 2007.

Ash di­rec­tor Ben Youdan says he is pleased to see chil­dren are “re­ject­ing a life of ad­dic­tion”.


Break­ing the habit: Hailie Verry is reap­ing the ben­e­fits of giv­ing up smok­ing thanks to nico­tine patches.

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