Smok­ers are of­fered cash to quit

Ruapehu Press - - Front Page - RUBY NYIKA

Smok­ers in Tau­marunui will be paid to quit.

Up to $300 in gift vouch­ers are up for grabs for preg­nant women in Tau­marunui who quit and stay smoke-free for four weeks past their tar­get quit date. Non­preg­nant smok­ers get $50.

Tau­marunui has one of the high­est rates of smok­ing preg­nant women in the coun­try and will also get a ‘‘quit coach’’ in Oc­to­ber to help lo­cals give up smok­ing for good.

One in two preg­nant women in Tau­marunui smokes dur­ing preg­nancy, ac­cord­ing to stud­ies by the Waikato DHB.

The new coach is Tau­marunui lo­cal Sona Sel­wyn, who is a for­mer smoker her­self.

She said in­cen­tives are cost­ef­fec­tive in the long term.

‘‘Can you imag­ine what they’re pay­ing right now for smok­ere­lated dis­eases? It would go into the mul­ti­mil­lions - maybe into the bil­lions.

‘‘It’s bet­ter to put the money at the front end rather than the back end.’’

The quit coach and cash are

‘‘It's a mill­stone around their neck. We need to give them back con­trol of their lives.’’ Sona Sel­wyn

part of Pin­na­cle Mid­lands Health Net­work (MHN) smok­ing ces­sa­tion pro­gramme Once and for All, avail­able for smok­ers liv­ing in Waikato, Taira¯ whiti and now Tau­marunui.

The six-week pro­gramme,which kicked off in 2016, in­volves clients pick­ing a tar­get quit date and be­ing coached through with­drawal.

Car­bon monox­ide mon­i­tors al­low coaches to mea­sure the level of nico­tine on clients’ breath to en­sure they ab­stain.

Tau­marunui lo­cals know their smok­ing is a prob­lem, Sel­wyn said, but stop­ping is hard and a re­ward can sweeten the with­drawal.

‘‘A lot of the peo­ple who do smoke can’t af­ford to. I see it all the time down­town. I’m talk­ing about the peo­ple walk­ing in the gut­ters, pick­ing up butts,’’ Sel­wyn said.

‘‘It’s so preva­lent here in town. We re­ally need to help th­ese peo­ple be­cause they are shack­led to it.

‘‘It’s a mill­stone around their neck. We need to give them back con­trol of their lives.’’

A 2017 Pin­na­cle MHN quar­terly re­port found 44 per cent of clients re­mained smoke-free four weeks af­ter their tar­get quit date.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.