Smoking causes the death of about 5000 people in New Zealand every year.
Most of those killed by tobacco are not heavy smokers, but most started smoking as teenagers.
About 1/3 of Maori deaths are linked to tobacco use.
The most significant smoking-related illnesses are cancer, heart, lung and gut diseases.
With statistics like these, it’s a no-brainer that you would want to quit smoking, but quitting can be a challenge. If you can't quit by stopping suddenly and completely or you are finding it hard to quit, consider joining the Quit Smoking programme at Avondale Family Chemist. The programme is free, it is assisted by a range of products, it comes with great support from the staff … and it works!
Avondale resident, June Joyce, was a “packet a day” smoker of 30 years before she joined the Quit Smoking programme. Her health had deteriorated to such an extent, she could only walk past her letterbox with the help of a walker. Now, she is celebrating one year of being a non-smoker and is off on holiday to Australia – a trip she could not have envisioned before beginning the programme.
“Of course, I wish I had never started smoking,” says June. “I had made several attempts to give up and spent thousands of dollars trying.”
“It was a very hard time for me. I had been under a lot of stress and the first thing I noticed when I stopped was my breathing - the fact that I could get up in the morning and feel alive. I actually felt happy, and when you get to a certain age and you have illnesses and other things going on, you don't often wake up feeling happy.”
The key to quitting is being encouraged to keep trying and to use a variety of treatments for different triggers.
“It’s really easy to fail if you don't have the support,” says June. “The staff here are like one big family. They have no idea how much their patience and non-judgement has helped.”
Chemist owner, Liz Young is enthusiastic about the programme. “With other programmes, people aren’t treated as individuals, you’re written a prescription for a patch, for example. We take the time to understand where people are coming from and use a variety of methods to help with different situtations.”
June can now have a social life without having a cigarette, and, while she still notices triggers, one of her greatest achievements is that she has inspired her immediate family to also give up smoking.
June’s advice to other people wanting to quit? “For those that are finding it particularly hard, just see what's at your local chemist, because they have a lot of support for you and they care. Coming to the chemist was a Godsend to me - the staff want you to win this battle.”
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. It is never too late to quit, no matter how old you are, or how long you have smoked, or how heavily. Call Avondale Family Chemist to sign up for a free programme now.
Avondale Family Chemist
1784E Great North Road, Avondale