October turns out to be the quitting month for kiwis. Thousands of them will participate in the 31-day challenge to stop smoking called "Stoptober".
This is only the second year for the challenge in New Zealand but organizers are expecting the number of participants to double this year. Its really hard for many kiwis to quit smoking but still they want to be smoke-free.
The campaign offers a great opportunity for many kiwis to be part of a national Smokefree movement for just 31 days. More than 5,200 kiwis signed up for the campaign online last year. But many participated in the campaign without signing up also.
"The number is expected to reach 10,000 this year. Rather than concentrate on health risks, Stoptober 2015 focuses on the positives unleashed by stopping smoking, and so our theme is 'Stopping could be the start of something!' For example, Stoptober could be the start of having more money in your pocket, better living or saving for a new IPhone," said Kelly Pohatu, campaign manager.
A research showed that there were 762,000 ex-smokers versus 463,000 current smokers in 2013. It also showed that 46% of young Māori have never smoked, and 86% of young Māori are Smokefree.
"This movement aims to trigger stop smoking attempts on a national scale during the month of October. Once people are signed up to Stoptober, we'll be able to let them know there's a lot of support available to them to become Smokefree, including face-to-face support, and stop smoking therapies like gum, lozenges and Champix," she said.
"We need massive ways to get as many New Zealanders to be Smokefree as soon as possible. Clinical evidence shows smokers who stop smoking for a month are five times more likely to stay Smokefree and smokers who use nicotine replacement therapy to stop smoking are more likely to stay Smokefree," she added.