Former smoker urges people to quit now

Latest News 31 May 2019 | “Don’t wait another second, quit now”, is Patrick McManus’ message to smokers.

Patrick’s five-decade long smoking habit started at a very young age when he would pick up his grandparents’ cigarette butts and smoke.

With a history of other addictions, Patrick was feeling “sick and tired of being sick and tired” when he approached the Living Smokefree Service in late 2018, determined to give his all to change his life around and quit smoking.

Two months later, he is still smoke free. “I am feeling great, I can walk without puffing!”   

When he first approached the service, he told the Smokefree Advisors that he had tried patches and lozenges in the past and was keen to try them again. However, he was also interested in trying different methods, such as an e-cigarette. The advisors were supportive of his choice and stressed that he should aim to stop using an e-cigarette as well to not replace one addiction with another.

“At first it was really difficult to be around smokers, but now I don’t care”, says Patrick. He believes that the support of the advisors was the key in keeping him motivated. “They welcomed me to attend drop-in clinics as regularly as I wanted and for a period of time I went to the clinics everyday”.

“Whereas before smoking used to be the norm among our whaanau, now they are proactively looking for ways to get out of the addiction. Our South Auckland community can be very resilient and have the solutions within them to change”, says Counties Manukau Health Smokefree Team Leader Michelle Lee.

“We utilise their own strengths and solutions to provide continued support delivered as, when and where required, such as we provided for Patrick”.

“To help our whaanau achieve their smoke free goals, we know that we need to address their wellbeing and holistic needs. We adhere to Maaori tikanga values over at least 12 weeks into their smoke free journey and beyond when necessary. We show aroha through empathy and compassion, demonstrate manaakitanga through valuing that person, guiding them through the information and navigating the health system to address other needs.”

Patrick is currently undertaking Peer Employment Training and wants to become a Peer Support Specialist and a Smokefree Community Champion to help others in their journey to a healthier lifestyle. 

To get in touch with the Living Smokefree Service and find out where your local drop-in clinic is call 0800 569 568, text “NOW” to 590, email or visit the Hang Tuff Smokefree 2025 Facebook page . The service also provides home and workplace visits.


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