Free visits for Smokers launched in Hawke’s Bay
For the whole month, anyone who smokes and wants to stop, will be eligible to the free visit, thanks to Health Hawke’s Bay – Te Oranga Hawke’s Bay.
Chief executive Philip Grant said the region has one of the worst rates of smokers in the country.
“Giving up smoking is one of the single biggest things someone can do for their health and the health of their whanau.
“We’re getting right behind smokers who want to become smokefree and we are doing it as the Government introduces more taxes on the cost of cigarettes.
“We want to encourage people going to their doctor or nurse to get the professional support and advice they need to become smokefree by covering the cost of their first visit,” said Mr Grant.
Health Hawke’s Bay will cover the co-payment (the normal fee an enrolled patient would pay to visit their doctor or nurse) for their first smoking cessation consultation with their doctor or nurse. This can cost up to $50 depending on whether a patient sees a doctor or nurse, and if their family doctor is based in a recognised “high needs” area.
For people wanting to become smokefree there are a number of no-cost support options and family doctors and practice nurses are there to help identify the best way to get started.
There are a full range of government funded support tools available in Hawke’s Bay ranging from nicotine replacement products such as gum and lozenges, medication such as Champix, one-to-one quit support and group based programmes along with links to other quit support agencies such as Aukati KaiPaipa and Quitline.
Smoking kills 4700 New Zealanders each year. According to the New Zealand Health Survey, Hawke’s Bay has one of the highest populations of current daily smokers in the country at 24.2% compared with the national average of 19.1%.