What are the health effects of smoking?
Smoking has many negative health effects including increased risk of developing diseases such as:
- stroke and heart disease
- cancers of the lung, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus and pancreas
- diseases of the urinary tract, pelvis, bladder and digestive tract
People who smoke inhale more than 4,000 chemicals including acetone (paint stripper), ammonia (toilet cleaner), cyanide (rat killer), DDT (insecticide) and carbon monoxide (car exhaust fumes).
Smoking is a major cause of blindness, with about 1,300 people in New Zealand having untreatable blindness due to current and past smoking.
Smoking causes about 25% of all cancer deaths in New Zealand, and one out of every 10 deaths worldwide. Around 5,000 New Zealanders die each year from smoking-related illnesses (4,700 from smoking and around 350 from second-hand smoke).
Second-hand smoke, where non-smokers breathe in the smoke of others around them, can cause heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, asthma and the worsening of asthma symptoms, eye and nasal irritation and nasal sinus cancer.
Find out just how smoking harms your body here:
Where can I go for information about quitting smoking?
Quitting smoking can be hard work, but you and your family and friends don’t have to do it alone. It may take a few tries but you are more likely to remain smokefree with help from a quitting service and support from friends and family.
A number of New Zealand websites have information about the benefits and quitting smoking, and how to quit.
Check out some of the support and help here:
Who can I call to talk to someone about quitting and to get low cost patches and gum?
Using nicotine patches and gum can double your chances of quitting.
Quitline (www.quit.org.nz) offers a service where you can call them or fill out an online form to receive a Quit Card to take to a pharmacy and get a low cost, eight-week supply of patches and/or gum.
If you call Quitline (0800 778 778) you can talk to a smokefree advisor about quitting and receiving support while you quit. The Quitline website also has other useful resources like an online blog and quitting calculators. There is no cost to become a member.
- Are there any quit smoking programmes specifically for Pacific peoples?
- Are there any Smokefree programmes set up for youth?
Can I get help in approaching my council about smokefree outdoor places?
A number of councils around New Zealand have introduced Smokefree policies for their parks, playgrounds, sports fields, swimming pools and/or other outdoor areas. These policies generally rely on signage and education and, though not strictly enforced, tend to be well supported by the public.
Click here to view a guide on ‘how to approach your local council’
How can I find or contact someone who works in Smokefree/Auahi Kore in my area?
Click here to find every contact you need in every region and every field inside the tobacco control sector of Aotearoa New Zealand
What is World Smokefree Day and how can I find out about it?
World Smokefree Day (known elsewhere in the world as World No Tobacco Day) is annually promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 31 May. The day's activities vary from country to country.
The purpose of World Smokefree Day is to inform people about the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what is being done to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.
Click here to check out World Smokefree Day and to find out more about the next World Smokefree Day (as well as what’s happened in the past).
Tala Pasifika is a supporter of World Smokefree day. Click here to view our 2015 video.
What online resources are available to help someone quit smoking?
There are lots of resources available online to help with:
- spreading the smokefree message
- giving you a better understanding of smoking and its effects in New Zealand
Click here for FREE resources which includes brochures, leaflets, fact sheets, posters and booklets.
What sort of laws does New Zealand have about smoking?
New Zealand has strong tobacco control legislation, including bans on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, the sale of cigarettes to those under 18 years and on smoking on public transport.
Indoor workplaces are required to be smokefree, including bars, restaurants, clubs, casinos, offices, factories, warehouses and work canteens. Schools and early childhood centres are also required to be smokefree at all times – including in their grounds.
Click here to read about further legislation
Where can I make a complaint if I think a smokefree law has been broken?
To complain about a breach of New Zealand’s smokefree legislation, contact a smokefree officer at your local public health service.
Click here to read about the aims of the Smokefree law
Where can I find out about the activities of the tobacco industry in New Zealand?
ASH (Action on Smoking and Health New Zealand) provides links to tobacco industry documents and an extensive menu of articles related to the tobacco industry.