Health Minister Tony Ryall welcomes the news that over 2,000 people have signed up with Quitline in the first week of January and urges other smokers to contact Quitline for support to quit smoking.
“Smoking kills an estimated 5000 people in New Zealand every year. It’s pleasing so many people have started the new year with the goal to quit smoking,” says Mr Ryall.
“By raising the tobacco tax each year and offering more people help to quit smoking, this government has created a turning point in the campaign against tobacco.
“More New Zealanders are now quitting each year and the number of smokers continues to decline. Last year, 63,000 quit attempts were made by New Zealanders through Quitline services – nearly 19,000 more than in 2008.
“The Government's national preventative health target, to provide better help for smokers to quit, means doctors and nurses at GP clinics and hospitals are supporting more patients than ever before to quit smoking.
“By helping people to quit not only are we reducing the risk of a smoker having a smoking-related disease, such as lung cancer, we are also improving the health of everyone in the family. Having non-smoking parents greatly reduces the likelihood of a child becoming a smoker.
“This government is committed to improving the health of New Zealanders and will continue to focus on initiatives which prevent people from taking up smoking and help more New Zealanders to quit.