Bay of Plenty smokers are being encouraged to stub out their cigarettes for Smokefree Day today.
The New Zealand Government is working towards a smokefree country by 2025 and is planning on increasing the price of cigarettes each year, with the first increase due next year.
A packet of cigarettes costs about $14 a packet and a daily packet habit will cost more than $5000 a year.
Currently the Bay of Plenty District Health Board is ranked 14th in New Zealand in providing smokers with quitting advice and services, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health.
As part of its campaign, the Government is aiming to provide 95 per cent of hospitalised smokers with quitting advice and assistance by July.
The BOP DHB is currently providing 88 per cent of hospitalised patients.
The data is based on patients presenting to Emergency Departments, day stay and other hospital-based interventions.
Minister of Health Tony Ryall says ‘Better Help for Smokers to Quit’ made significant improvements nationally with 91 per cent of smokers now getting advice and help to quit compared to less than half when the targets began in 2009.
“Thousands of New Zealand kids will have memories of sitting in the back of the family car being blasted with second-hand, stinky, smelly, cigarette smoke - and it’s a memory every child can do without!” says Skye Kimura, Tobacco Control Advisor for the Cancer Society.
“Today is World Smokefree Day, the perfect time to reflect on our successes in becoming a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025, and the perfect time to look at the important challenges ahead.”