Budget drives smokers to try and quit
Tue, 05 Jun 2012 12:10p.m.
By Susie Nordqvist
Quitline says it is having to hire more staff to deal with a sudden influx of smokers wanting to stub out the habit following tax hikes unveiled in the Budget.
The Government is increasing tax on tobacco products to meet its goal of being a smokefree nation by 2025, meaning a packet of cigarettes will cost more than $20 by 2013.
Adrian Tobin started stealing cigarettes from his parents at the age of 10. He estimates in the 33 years he was a smoker he spent $120,000 on cigarettes.
"That's a lot of money," he says. "I could've bought a house with that."
Plus, spending around $100 a week on his habit sparked a fear his kids were missing out.
So in 2010 he called it quits.
"I did what it took. I went through tears ,grief and what we'd call a mild depression, as people do. I went through that in order to make a better life for my kids."
Now he's helping others overcome the obstacles faced by giving up smoking.
"I blog on the blogsite of Quitline's website there," he says. "I offer my thoughts and my experiences, what I've been through, what worked for me, what I know works for other people."
Quitline says it needs more people like Mr Tobin to help others kick the habit, and demand has gone up dramatically since the price changes in the Government's last Budget.
"We had 357 more people use our service on Thursday than on a normal Thursday, and it has been constantly busier since then," says Paula Snowden. "Double on some days what we would normally have.
"When you've got a couple of gold coins in your hand when you've handed over $20, it's not enough - you just can't keep spending that money."
The service wants to hire five extra staff in the next couple of months to help it cope, but it doesn't know yet whether it will receive Government funding for it, and it wants the Government to do more.
"We need tobacco out of dairies, behind counters when you buy bread and milk," says Ms Snowden. "When you fill your car up with petrol we don't want cigarettes right there… It has to be back in the back room, under lock and key and treated like the dangerous product that it is."
Quitline says 20 percent of people who use the service are smokefree within six months, and with extra funding it's confident it will be able to help drive down the rating of smoking in New Zealand.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
5/06/2012 7:00:29 p.m.
How many people drive cars? It isnt cigarette smoke I smell when I'm in a city. Its carbon. Cars pollute the air more than any cigarette smoker. They'd make more money out of carbon tax for sure.
5/06/2012 12:28:42 p.m.
Expect the crime rate in south auckland to go up, theirs always those who will feed a habit anyway they can.
On the June 6, after rugby training, someone hit Stephen Dud...
Heavy snow and flooding has caused numerous roads to close i...
New Zealanders are today bracing for a polar blast which wil...
New Zealanders are preparing for the worst as an oncoming po...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.