6 Mar 2012

Signs young Maori are quitting smoking - Quitline

6:37 pm on 6 March 2012

National smoking cessation service Quitline is applauding survey results which show out of 570 Maori teenage girls who smoked daily, about 250 of them stopped smoking in 2011.

The Action on Smoking and Health results feature in its 10-year snapshot survey of 14 and 15-year-old male and female students.

Quitline chief executive Paula Snowden says throughout January the organisation received more than 8,000 calls - of which about 1800 identified themselves as Maori.

She says the significant rate of Maori girls ringing Quitline and dropping the habit, are linked to a tobacco price rise in January - and it shows the intervention strategies are working.

Ms Snowden says smoking is banned in many public places, near schools, and sports facilities - and now there is a move towards plain cigarette packaging - all of which are helping to stub out smoking.

Paula Snowden says more than 60,000 people a year call Quitline, and about 20% of those people kick the habit and stay smoke-free for life.