There are people across the globe pleased to see the end of 2020. A new year for many will be a refreshing, significant, traditional or symbolic time to kick start a new way of being that better version of yourself. New eating plans, more exercise, being better spouses, spending more quality time with children or grandchildren and quit smoking goals get set around this time of year.

Over the past 3 years, Aotearoa have methodically increased taxes on cigarettes by 10%, this year there are no increases. However, for many, it is a time when people who smoke decide to quit.

Hāpai Te Hauora as the largest iwi-owned national public health entity are embracing this New Year to celebrate successful quit attempts.

In July of 2020, Whaea Lyvia Marsden (Ngāti Whātua), a smoker for more than half a century, decided it was time to quit tobacco. With the aid of a low nicotine delivery aid (a vape) Whaea Lyvia is now on her Smokefree journey and is encouraging many in her whānau to do the same. Whaea Lyvia says, "I want to see my mokopuna thrive in environments where tobacco is a thing of the past, we are so close to the year 2025, and as a whānau unit we are committed to getting our whānau Smokefree by that target. I’ve made it six months on my quit journey and I’m encouraging many others in my whānau to come along with me".

Hāpai Te Hauora CEO Selah Hart says, "2021 is another year closer to the Smokefree 2025 goal and to make it a realistic goal, we want more whānau, hapu and iwi to be leading the change designed and led locally by their own communities. We are working together with other national organisations to ensure a number of public health and population health strategies are employed but there is a lot more to do and in order to do this, there has to be more power, resource and commitment for those communities and whānau to achieve and maintain Smokefree Lifestyles".

General Manager for Tobacco Control Advocacy at Hāpai Te Hauora, Stephanie Erick says, "quitting smoking is still a really important New Year’s resolution and anyone contemplating a start to their quit journey, there is help available".

Quitline provides free advice and support by calling 0800 778 778 or text 4006. Providing texts that will help boost your motivation and offer advice and tips. When you sign up online you get your own personalised page and stay connected. Join Lisa Adams as she shares her personal story and the positive impact of how quitting has contributed to a healthier lifestyle, improvement in her performance of a being world champion and making sure she’s around for her son.

You can also find your local stop smoking service via the national directory here.

Let’s get behind our whanau on their Smokefree journey this New Year so it’s a successful start of the year of 2021.