Team of five rated the best stop smoking service in NZ

By Jessica Tyson

Today is World Smokefree Day and Bay of Plenty support service Hāpainga has proved to be the best of its kind in the country.

New Zealand has 16 quitting support services and each one is required to record the number of clients who are smokefree four weeks after their set quit date.

Hāpainga has been in the top spot for the last nine months.

Team leader Lizzie Spence says it’s great news for the team of practitioners who support people to quit smoking across the Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty.

“The small team really focuses on treating each client as an individual. Quitting smoking is a real journey. Our team might meet with a client several times before they set a quit date.  Building a rapport and trust with them is quite crucial to the successful outcome”.

The team uses a carbon monoxide detector, similar to a breathalyser, at four weeks to measure whether or not patients have smoked.

“Low to nil levels of carbon monoxide shows the person is smokefree,” says Spence.

 The facts:

  • Ministry of Health results shows Bay of Plenty is the top performer across the country with a 75 percent successful quit smoking rate at four weeks.
  • The most recent tobacco-use figures show 84 percent of New Zealanders do not smoke, which is 4 percent more than in 2008.
  • Fewer young people are starting to smoke with 96 percent of 15 to 17-year-olds staying smoke-free, which is a marked increase from 84 percent a decade ago.