Raising Awareness

Here you will find resources to help raise awareness about smoking and mental illness, the benefits of becoming smokefree and the harms of smoking.

Personal journeys to becoming smokefree

When asked what helped her quit, one lady responded:

  “Knowing that I felt better not smoking than I did smoking.  Viewing not smoking as a way of valuing myself and smoking as a way of de-valuing myself.  Imagining all the women I know who have died from cancer smiling at me, and living through me.  Thinking about how healthy my body was, imagining my lungs healing themselves”

Success stories (Quit Group) 

Warren's Story. Extract from "Features" article in Dominion newspaper, Wellington. NZ.

Also 'I wanted freedom from nicotine addiction'

Insights from those working in smoking cessation

The following are reflections and insights from people working in the fields of smoking cessation. We are very thankful for them sharing their thoughts.

Smokefree insights by Basil Fernandes

Smokefree insights by Brian Millen

Smokefree insights by Lis Cowling

Sample Powerpoint Presentation

It can be valuable to present to staff, service users and community members about smoking. This powerpoint presentation has been simply put together as a base upon which you might like to build to create your own presentation. Included are facts about smoking, mental health and addictions, the benefits of quitting and how to help people to become smokefree.

Click here to download a copy of this presentation.

World Smokefree Day

World Smokefree Day (known internationally as ‘World No Tobacco Day’) is on the 31st May every year. World Smokefree Day is all about celebrating and working towards smokefree / auahi kore lives for New Zealanders. It is a great opportunity celebrate successes (both for inidividuals and your organisation) or to initiate new smokefree directions. The following are some ideas for World Smokefree Day activities.

  • Encouraging staff to complete the e-learning (or other training) on this day
  • Review or publicise your smokefree policy. Click here for Sample Smokefree Policy Template
  • Encourage clients and staff to try to go smokefree for a day, or few hrs, or set their own goal
  • Offer alternative activities/ distractions such as creating a paint or chalk mural, going on an organized walk
  • Celebrate achievements or new directions with a BBQ, medals for those who have quit etc
  • Encourage staff and service users to seek support from quit card provider on that day
  • Collect or exchange individual’s success stories
  • Activities could be organised or coordinated as part of a student placement project

Research and literature

The following are some journal articles and research reports about smoking, mental illness and addictions.

How much do mental disorders contribute to New Zealand’s tobacco epidemic? (Tobias M, Templeton R & Collings S. Tobacco Control 2008;17:347-350)

Poorer mental health in many New Zealand smokers: national survey data from the ITC project (NZMJ 2010, 123:1326)

Factors Associated With Success of Smoke-Free Initiatives in Australian Psychiatric Inpatient Units (Lawn S, Campion J. Psychiatric Services 2010, 61(3))

Smoking and mental illness: results from population surveys in Australia and the United States (Lawrence D, Mitrou F & Zubrick S. BMC Public Health 2009, 9:285)

Smoke and mirrors: a review of the literature on smoking and mental illness (Ragg M, Ahmed T. Tackling Tobacco Program Research Series No. 1. Sydney: Cancer Council NSW;2008)

Smoking by people with mental illness and benefits of smoke-free mental health services (Campion J, Checinski K & Nurse J. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 2008, 14, 217-228)

Failure to treat tobacco use in mental health and addiction treatment settings: A form of harm reduction? (Prochaska J. Drug Alcohol Depennce 2010)

Smoking in relation to anxiety and depression: Evidence from a large population survey: The HUNT study (Arnstein M et al. European Psychiatry 2008 23, 77-84)

How to implement a smoke-free policy (Cormac I & McNally L. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment. 2008, 14, 198-207)