New Year has arrived and so has the time for an increase in the tax on cigarettes and this will ultimately lead to a dip in the number of people who smoke in 2011. It was expected that the new helpline that has been constituted to help smokers quit will also receive increasing calls.
In anticipation of smokers looking to make good on a New Year resolution to give up smoking, on Saturday it was the first day of Qutiline phone service that is made with an aim to help smokers leave the habit.
Quit Group chief executive Paula Snowden said, "Every New Year, people want to quit, but the tax may well be the decider for some people."
About 140 calls were being expected by Quitline on its first day. After a 10 per cent tax rise in April was passed under urgent legislation, more is being expected as there will be another such rise in 2012. In May alone there were about 4000 calls, which is almost double the usual number.
Due to the April tax rise being known in advance, calls that time were expected but this time so many calls were not being expected.
Dr Marewa Glover, the Director for the Centre of Tobacco Control at The University of Auckland, is positive that more and more people will get encouraged to quit smoking as cigarettes tend to cost more now.
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