Help to stop smoking
Stop smoking services - Why should I use a stop smoking service?
Stopping smoking can be really difficult to do on your own. This is because cigarettes contain nicotine and around 4,000 toxic chemicals. People continue to smoke because they become dependent on, or addicted to, nicotine.
Nicotine is present in the leaves of tobacco plants. When tobacco is smoked the nicotine is carried down into the lungs, then into the blood and then the heart. The nicotine then travels to the brain and around to the rest of the body. This process happens very quickly.
Nicotine, like other drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines, acts on a particular part of the brain called the reward centre. With the continued use of nicotine or drugs over time, the brain actually changes and comes to rely on these substances.
Research tells us that by working with a stop smoking service you will be much more likely to stop than if you try it by yourself. Stop smoking services are flexible and will provide you with support as long as you need it. And they are FREE!
The Southern Stop Smoking Service offers FREE face-to-face support to stop smoking with seven coaches operating across Otago and Southland. They provide free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches, gum, lozenges) to support people on their journey to becoming smokefree. Referrals can be made the following ways:
- Free phone 0800 925 242
- Self refer here Online referral for Southern Stop Smoking Service
What can I expect from the Southern Stop Smoking Service?
All the coaches are trained stop smoking professionals and will offer you structured support on preparing to stop, stopping and staying smokefree.
Carbon monoxide (CO) monitor
When you smoke a cigarette you take CO and loads of toxins into your body. CO is really damaging as it takes away oxygen from you which you need to be healthy. If you are pregnant and smoke, then your baby gets that CO as well and that can be harmful to their growth and development.
Your stop smoking coach uses a nifty wee hand-held machine that measures your CO levels – all you have to do is blow into it When you start working with your coach you can expect your CO levels to be high (if you are still smoking), but once you stop smoking those levels will drop much lower. The readings can be really motivating and help you monitor how you are progressing on your smokefree journey.
Preparing to stop smoking
If you are getting ready to stop smoking, your coach can give you information and advice on how best to prepare yourself, including information about what medications will best suit you if you choose to use any. You can talk with your coach about any worries you have about stopping smoking, any previous attempts you have made before, your smoking patterns and your reasons for wanting to stop. This will help you to get started with planning your quit date.
Your coach will work alongside you to help you set a date to stop smoking. This is the date where you commit to completely stop smoking and decide N.O.P.E (Not One Puff Ever). Your coach can help and support you to cope with the feelings and withdrawals you may experience during this time.
Your coach can work with you on changing your routines (that in the past were created around smoking), triggers, managing stressful situations and cravings.
Your smokefree future
In your final meetings with your coach you will be able to look to a smokefree future and what supports are available if needed. When you successfully stop smoking you will join the 85% of people in New Zealand who do not smoke!
Quitline is New Zealand's national stop smoking service and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help people become smokefree. Quitline offers free support online, by phone and text.
People can access support by:
- calling Quitline on 0800 778 778 - advisors will work with you to make a plan
- joining Quitline's blog community - get 24-hour support from people who are trying to stop smoking as well
- text 4006
- visiting Quitline on Facebook
- joining the Txt2Quit service online - get sent texts to motivate you on your smokefree journey, or you can sign up over the phone
- getting nicotine patches, gum and lozenges prescriptions for $5.00 each by ordering online or over the phone.
While in hospital
Your doctor, nurse and other health professionals will ask you about whether you smoke or not. If you do smoke they can arrange Nicotine Replacement Therapy for you during your hospital stay. They can also arrange an appointment with the local stop smoking coach when you are back home.
Visiting your medical centre
Your GP or Practice Nurse will ask you about whether you smoke or not. If you do smoke they can arrange Nicotine Replacement Therapy for you and arrange an appointment with the local stop smoking coach.