A compelling personal short video about the effects of smoking kicks off a Southern DHB ‘Real People, Real Stories,’ campaign on World Smokefree Day on Friday 31 May.


Featured in the first of a series of seven ‘Real People, Real Stories,’ videos, 51 year old Hayley recalls her struggles with smoking related harm and her journey to becoming smokefree.


Hayley from Dunedin was 12 years old when she first tried smoking and by the time she was 15 she was a smoking heavily.   Hayley says over the years smoking just became part of her life.  “Everyone was smoking.”


In 2016 after several attempts Hayley managed to become smokefree, but the damage had been done. She was suffering from a lung disease and by 2018 she was reliant on an oxygen machine for 16 hours every day. Hayley says her life was so restricted. “I couldn’t do regular activities like watch my children play sports. I felt like an embarrassment to my children.”


Going on the transplant list gave Hayley new hope and in October 2018 she had a double lung transplant. Hayley is very appreciative of her new life and says being able to go outside and do things is wonderful. “I have a life now, and I am going to make the most of it.”


Southern DHB Smokefree Coordinator, Debby Newton who is leading the campaign says the Smokefree team wants people to see the real stories of real people and the negative effect smoking has on them and their families.


“We hope the videos will raise awareness of the harms of smoking and de-normalise tobacco use within wider whānau. We really want to encourage young people to not start smoking and raise awareness that smoking causes immediate damage to your body and can lead to long-term health problems.”


“People don’t realise that for every person who dies as a result of smoking, there are many people who live with a serious smoking related illness,” says Debby.


Hayley’s story can be viewed here


Six other videos in the ‘Real People, Real Stories,’ campaign will be released over the next few months on the Smokefree South Facebook page, Southern DHB Facebook page, and Southern DHB website. A series of digital slides featuring the people in the videos will also be produced to support the campaign.


For more information for individuals about becoming smokefree, contact the Southern Stop Smoking Service. The service is free and to get in touch with them phone (03) 214 5260 or free phone 0800 925 242, email the service at admin@stopsmoking.nz, or refer online at www.kaitahu.maori.nz/online-referrals