by Sonia Hepi-Treanor, Te Hā Pūkenga Manaaki (Stop Smoking Navigator)
I met Simon after he came to Te Piki Oranga asking if he could have some more nicotine replacement patches. He had received some patches from nurses at TPO’s Health Promotion Day in August 2016 and he felt that they worked well.
Unfortunately, he had started smoking again after his mother passed away. When I took his first breath/carbon monoxide reading it was 10ppm which was quite high. So, we set his quit date for 19 May of this year when he knew his last lot of cigarette rolls would run out. We met every week face to face while he was going through the transition, which he said he enjoyed.
I’m pleased to say that Simon hasn’t had a single puff since he quit, and his readings dropped to 2ppm dramatically over the next 4 weeks. He decided to celebrate his success by going out to lunch.
When I contacted Simon to ask him to complete one of our evaluation forms I discovered that he had had a minor stroke. Although he said everything was fine, I was concerned that this setback may have prompted him to start smoking again. It didn’t because Simon is very adamant that it is over for him now and that he will never smoke again. In his evaluation of our smoke-free service he said, “I have given up smoking many times but there was something very special that Sonia provided that others haven’t, almost like a doctor, very professional, knowledgeable and caring.” When we asked how we could improve our service Simon responded “Employ more people like Sonia, she made me proud. Once again, many thanks, Atawhai e aroha, Simon.”
Simon’s success becomes my success, not just personally but through everyone that we are associated with on our journey, our organisation, our whanau, our community, our country Aotearoa.
Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 is getting closer – let’s see if we can achieve this together.