Friday, March 11, 2011

New Zealand Encourages Smokers to Kick the Habit

The New Year became the best time to start with massive push to encourage many Kiwis to stop smoking.
The price of a pack of cigarettes has risen by 10%. Public Health Association (PHA) hopes that this increase in tobacco tax will make more people kick the habit this year.
“The tax increase will encourage those people who have made New Year stop smoking resolutions to quit as soon as possible,” national executive officer Gay Keating stated in the interview.
The last tax increase took place in April 2010, which practically doubled the numbers of people registering with Quitline and about two-thirds of callers interviewed stated that the tax raise was probably the main reasons to quit.
Within this year the prices on tobacco products will increase in total by 28 to 40 %.
The PHA is sure that 2010 was a banner year on the way toward smoke-free New Zealand, with raises in taxes on tobacco products and also the release of a report on Maori smoking and tobacco industry. It also requires government officials to remove all tobacco displays from all retail shop and various establishments.
“We hope that New Zealanders will change their lives in New Year 2011, and take advantage of the available stop-smoking programs,” Keating stated.
But some smokers were not disappointed by the tax increase and stated that they would continue smoking hereinafter, according to Auckland University's Centre for Tobacco Control Research
“We surveyed approximately 500 people after the GST increase and we didn’t find that people were disconcerted by the price. I suppose that they haven’t understood yet what is going on in fact,” Auckland University expert Dr. Marewa Glover declared.
“For example, if in a family there is one smoker, who smokes a pack per day, it constitutes $4,500 dollars a year, an average week's rent. It is really big money,” Paula Snowden, chief executive for The Quit Group, which governs Quitline stated.
Some smokers even switch to electronic cigarettes, where they inhale water vapor and not toxic fumes.
“We have saw a 200% increase in sales which came with the Smoke-free Day, when people began to look for a substitute for regular cigarettes and also trying to save their money,” Paul Medarov, CEO of Elusion Cigarette Company stated.
Quitline hopes that people will call for their help, as the tax increase takes effect.
“It is well known that those who apply for support are up to five times more likely to quit the habit than by their own forces. 80% of smokers wished that they had never begun smoking and we hope that the January tax increase will become a stimulus to stop smoking,” he said.
Smoking kills 13 Kiwis every day and about 1 in 5 smoke tobacco products.