Stoptober motivates mother to quit smoking

By Mānia Clarke

Mother of two Ellyce McLeod is motivated to quit smoking this month and is using the Stoptobernz campaign to give her added motivation.

McLeod says there are many reasons why she wants to quit smoking. 

She says, “Firstly I’m pregnant at the moment and I want to stop for my children, this is my third child and that’s the main reason.”

Stoptober is a campaign that runs throughout the month of October and is New Zealand's first quit smoking challenge of its kind, jointly run by ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) and Inspiring Ltd, Ministry of Health National Quality Assurance Smoking cessation training providers.

McLeod is not registered with Stoptobernz as such, but has created her own facebook public group page called “Stoptoberrrr”. 

She says she has had lots of friends who are wanting to quit, so if they did it at the same time, it would make it easier for her.

“It’s a forum for us help each other, to talk about our struggles and any tips to help us.”

It’s the second year the campaign has been running, but ASH Relationship Manager Boyd Broughton says this year they’re using social media for the first time, to get people registered and on board to take up the 31 day challenge. 

Broughton said, “Our focus is to get people, families and communities to promote this message to their families, friends and work mates.”

ASH decided to use a social media movement of people, as it’s easier for people who are wanting to stop to do it in groups, with friends and family. 

At the moment there are over 8,000 people registered, and people can continue to register through their website, Facebook or Twitter.  They also have an Instagram and You Tube page for people to get information about other services around the country that can support them in their journey.

Boyd says they ultimately want New Zealand to become smoke free and eventually, prohibit cigarette entry into the country.