Quitting ‘ciggies’ after 45 years inspires whānau


Whanganui District Health Board’s Kaitakitaki-Cultural Advisor/Educator Ned Tapa.

2 July 2021


It was just the right moment that led Ned Tapa to quit cigarettes after being a smoker for 45 years.


Whanganui District Health Board’s Kaitakitaki-Cultural Advisor/Educator had been thinking of giving up for about six months prior to quitting – he’s now been 15 months smoke free.


“That particular day I had run out of smokes, so then I decided: ‘That’s it - no more.’”


And the benefits of not smoking have been huge for the active sportsman and Iwi leader.


“I have always led an active life with sports, hunting, waka ama, rugby, netball and so on. I was still able to perform these sports - but now that I’ve given up, I can feel the difference in my breathing and recovery rate.”


He says the feedback from his family has been encouraging.


“The whānau say ‘Wow, that’s awesome - I never thought you’d give up. If you can, I’m going to try!’”


“Three of my immediate whānau have now been smoke free for more than three months and have had no desire to return to smoking.


“Other whānau members are now seriously looking at their smoking habits and are starting the journey to being smoke free.”


Ned suggests getting active or keeping active before giving up, as it helps with the smoke free journey.


“The key message is that your mind has to be ready for the change, get that ready and the journey is a lot easier. As we say, the top two inches will decide your pathway.”


For information and help on how to quit, contact Whanganui Stop Smoking Service - Ngā Taura Tūhono on 0800 200 249.