The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Ready Steady Quit Stop Smoking Service

How does the Stop Smoking Service work in Auckland & Waitemata? What does the programme look like?

The FREE service consists of a face-to-face programme in which people are supported through their quit journey by a qualified expert in stop smoking techniques. The programme aims to provide choice, flexibility and be responsive to the individual’s needs. For example, people can choose either group-based sessions with peer support and expert advice or one-to-one sessions.

Who is able to use the service?

The FREE service is available to anyone who has decided to stop smoking who is eligible for publically funded New Zealand health services and lives, works, learns or plays in the Auckland or Waitemata DHB regions.

Who is providing the service?

The service is being delivered collaboratively by ProCare and The Fono. Both providers have a long-standing history in delivering health/social services with strong roots in primary and community-based care, as well as extensive experience in supporting people to stop smoking. We are also working closely with the national advocacy body for tobacco control, Hāpai Te Hauora (Hāpai).

How can people wanting to stop smoking access the service?

There are many different ways that people can access the service.

Self Referral 

You can ‘self-refer’ by contacting the service directly

Phone: 0800 500 601 

Email us stopsmoking@procare.co.nz

Completing a Stop Smoking Referral Form

Other Referral

People can also be referred to the service by their GP/Family Doctor, other healthcare professional (eg dentist, midwife, hospital doctor), Quitline, community group (eg church, support group etc), or even their school or workplace.

The key requirement for a referral is that the individual has provided verbal consent to be referred to the Stop Smoking Service. There is a simple form to be completed by those referring someone to the service. 

Complete a Stop Smoking Referral Form 

Can people enter the programme more than once?

Yes, if they’ve been through the programme and not been able to stop smoking, or have later had a relapse, they can re-enter the programme. If someone is re-entering the programme, we would spend time in the initial assessment to understand if there was anything that needed to be different about the programme compared to last time, for example, trying one-to-one sessions rather than group-based sessions.

How can I refer someone who wants to stop smoking?

Firstly you need to have their consent – this can be verbal consent. The person must want to give up smoking of their own accord, not just because people around them want them to.

Then it’s a case of contacting our Stop Smoking Service:

Phone: 0800 500 601

Email us

Complete our Stop Smoking Referral Form

If I want to stop smoking, what’s the first step? What can I expect?

When you’ve decided to stop smoking, you can either ‘self-refer’ by contacting the Ready Steady Quit Stop Smoking Service in Auckland & Waitemata directly, or someone you trust eg, your GP/Family Doctor, Church Pastor, or a member of your whanau can help refer you to the service.

Once that referral is received, the first step is that a central co-ordinator from the service will contact you to discuss your individual needs and preferences. This is so they can match you with a qualified expert to support you through the 4-week programme, which might involve group-based or one-to-one sessions, depending on what would work best for you.

You can expect a service that puts you at the centre, is focused on helping you achieve the outcomes you want, and is adaptable and flexible to your needs. The person supporting you through the programme will be trained and qualified in stop smoking techniques and practices.

Depending on your circumstances, they may talk with you about nicotine replacement therapy/NRT (gum, patches, lozenges) and/or medication options. In the case of prescription medicine, like Champix, a registered nurse from the Stop Smoking Service would be required to liaise with your GP/Family Doctor (this may incur a fee with your GP).

If you’ve been referred by your GP/Family Doctor, the service will advise them of your outcome of the programme.

If I want to stop smoking, what does it cost?

The Stop Smoking Service in Auckland & Waitemata is completely FREE – there’s no charge to enrol in the programme or attend any of the sessions. Nicotine replacement therapy/NRT, including gum, patches, lozenges are also available free of charge. If you are prescribed medication like Champix or Zyban to support you to stop smoking, there may be a prescription cost of $5 per item. This may also incur a prescription fee from your GP/family doctor.

Is the service confidential? What if I don’t quit smoking or finish the programme?

All your personal information will be securely stored and treated as confidential.

If your GP/Family Doctor has referred you, then they’ll be advised of your outcome of the programme. If you don’t want this information shared with your GP/Family Doctor, then tell us. It’s your stop smoking journey, so it’s up to you to decide who you share the outcome with – whether you become smokefree or don’t quite make it this time.

I’m already enrolled in the Quitline programme. Can I enrol in this programme too?

Absolutely. We’d just recommend that you let your Stop Smoking Service expert know, as well as your Quitline coach know that you’re enrolled in both programmes so that each has a full picture of the support you’re receiving. Many people stopping smoking find the combination of 24/7 support over the phone and face-to-face support as really helpful for their stop smoking journey.

Do I have to attend group sessions?

No. When you first talk to the central co-ordinator or your qualified expert, they’ll work through which type of programme is going to be best for your needs. Many people find group-based sessions really beneficial as it provides peer support as well as expert advice, but it may not be right for you. This service strives to provide choice and flexibility for the individual’s needs, to enable the greatest chance of a successful quit outcome.

Why has the service changed? What’s new?

The Ministry of Health announced on 1 July 2016 that a major change was needed to the services that are helping New Zealanders to become smokefree. The Ministry noted that the goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 would be unlikely if a business as usual approach to tobacco control services continued. This followed a review and a 15 month process of realigning the services.

The Ministry has outlined its expectations of the new stop smoking services, including high quality, client-centric, evidence-based, and focused on the local needs of the population and prioritisation of Māori, Pacific and pregnant women who smoke.

For more information on the reasons for the change, visit the Ministry of Health website. 

Click here

How has the service been designed? Have health professionals and people who smoke been involved?

People who smoke and professionals who support those to stop smoking (including GPs, nurses, quit coaches) have been involved in the design and development of this Stop Smoking Service in Auckland & Waitemata, as well as advising on the awareness raising and future promotion of the service. This has been key to understanding what support people want when they’re stopping smoking and making the service ‘client-centric’.

During consultation with consumers, people who smoked indicated the value of ‘giving up in a group’. Therefore the option for group-based sessions is a core component of this programme. Research studies in the UK and New Zealand have also shown that the supportive benefits that come from group-based therapy, have a positive impact on people abstaining from smoking.

Group-based sessions will not be the best fit for everyone though and being flexible is a key part of this Stop Smoking Service. This is why the programme also offers one-to-one sessions in an environment where the individual is most comfortable.

How will you know if the service has been successful?

The Ministry of Health has set clear targets for all providers of the new, regional stop smoking services. This includes having 5% of the local population who regularly smoke enrolled in the programme with 50% achieving validated quit rates at the 4-week follow up.

In the case of the Stop Smoking Service in Auckland & Waitemata, this will mean 5,372 being enrolled in the programme with half achieving a validated quit rate by the end of the 4-week programme. These are challenging targets, but ProCare and The Fono are committed to achieving this goal.

Together, and by working with other community partners, we have the knowledge and breadth to reach priority populations of Māori, Pacific, and pregnant women, making a collective impact to decrease smoking rates.

Feedback from people who have used the service will also be a key indicator of whether the service is successful. We will be regularly surveying those who have been through the programme to gauge their satisfaction with the service and to see how we can improve.