Smokefree Day
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Whanganui has the third highest rate of smoking in New Zealand and the highest rate for female Maori smoking.
 
So not surprisingly, the Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) Smokefree team will be out later this week encouraging shoppers who smoke to embrace No Smoking Day on 1 November and give up smoking for good.
 
WDHB Smokefree coordinator Julie Tolladay-Poulton says she and colleague Barbara Greene will be in Trafalgar Square from 11am – 2pm on Saturday, 29 October publicising No Smoking Day and answering any questions people may have about what aids are available to help them give up.

“Smoking remains the most preventable cause of death and chronic illness we have in New Zealand so the WDHB is very focused on turning Whanganui’s high rates around,” Mrs Tolladay-Poulton says.
 
“I’m pleased to say we are making progress. When the Ministry of Health’s quarter four health target results were released on 30 August, the WDHB ranked third of 20 DHBs for its efforts to help smokers quit.
 
“The target asks that 95 percent of hospitalised smokers are given advice and offers of assistance to quit smoking and we have surpassed that target with our last result sitting at 97 percent.
 
“If requested, patients receive assistance during their hospital stay and again on discharge when we refer them to quit coaches in the community.”
 
Mrs Tolladay-Poulton says the WDHB is very focused on reducing the cancers, and respiratory and cardiac diseases that tobacco can cause.
 
“Apart from the human cost, the health sector is also very mindful of the financial costs involved in managing tobacco-caused diseases,” Mrs Tolladay-Poulton says.
 
“We can offer a number of treatments for those wanting to quit. Nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, Zyban and Champix are all very effective and only cost $3 for three months supply,” Mrs Tolladay-Poulton says.
 
“Our target results show the WDHB is making a difference so we hope 1 November will mark the day that many Whanganui residents decide to give up for their  health and for the health of their families.”  
 
 
Location and contact details
The Smokefree team will be in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 29 October from 11am – 2pm.
 
Members of the public are invited to drop into the Quit Clinic, corner of Ingestre and Wicksteed Streets. The Quit Clinic is open Monday to Friday 9 – 4.30pm. No appointment or referral is requiredand there is no charge.
 
To contact the Te Hā Ora team from Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority phone (06) 348 0282.
Te Hā Ora, the local Aukati Kai Paipa providers, use a Maori model of cessation by Maori for Maori. This is a free service.
 
To call the Quit Line phone 0800 778 778 or go to  www.quit.org.nz. The Quit Line service is delivered by phone, text, or on line and mail out quit cards.
 
GPs and medical centres provide the full range of smoking cessation assistance.