Stoptober: Just smoke in the wind?

Wednesday September 28, 2016

Stoptober is less than a week away, and smokers are ignorant and apathetic about it.

Smokers we spoke with knew little to nothing about the anti-smoking campaign, though they had considered quitting. One smoker, Rico Peng, 19, stated simply, “it’s just part of my life”. His view is indicative of many smokers, although many consider giving up. Mele Finau, 27, claims, “it’s way too hard for me”.

Those that knew of the initiative thought it was a bit of a laugh. “My friends tag me in Facebook posts about it all the time, but I can’t quit,” says smoker, Selu Iloahefavia, 20.

This apathy extends beyond the latest anti-smoking campaign to other combative campaigns, including the most recent preventative advertising released by Smoke Free. “It’s a bit off-putting,” thinks smoker, Elana Smythe, 22, but she does not believe that it would prevent anyone from smoking.

The indifference to quitting their addiction remains prevalent despite the rising cost of cigarettes in New Zealand. Smokers we talked to quoted spending between $40-$70 a week on packets. The cheapest cigarettes Elana Smythe claimed to buy were $20 per pack.

Stoptober provides an outline of their campaign on their Facebook page Stoptobernz.

“Stoptober is a one month stop smoking campaign being jointly run by Inspiring Ltd and ASH NZ (Action on Smoking and Health), Ministry of Health National Quality Assurance Smoking cessation training providers. The campaign runs throughout the month of October and is New Zealand’s first stop smoking challenge of its kind.”

– Sean Stapleton in association with Cassidy Makonio