The group of seven have come together through a weekly support network set up by the Southern Stop Smoking Service and aided by South Port, which have provided the time, place and support for their staff along with incentives to remain smoke free.
Each participant received a $50 grocery voucher at two weeks smoke free, and at six weeks all went in the draw to win a $250 prezzy card, supplied by South Port.
South Port Finance Manager Lara Stevens said health and safety is very important to the organisation, and the stop smoking group was a great health initiative for the company to support.
"We want to encourage staff to lead healthy life styles and to make good choices," she said.
Since the group's commencement all of its members are either smoke free or working towards it, as well as some of their family members.
Speaking to the group in its sixth week, each agreed the group setting was a large motivator, especially as it was genuine encouragement from people who smoked.
The Southern Stop Smoking Service staff had been non-judgmental and allowed the group to be in control of their own journey, they said.
“It’s so good that it’s here at work. It’s convenient. And whether you’re failing or succeeding it’s all good, there’s no judgement. We’ve got people to talk to, advice, no cost, and no hassle. If we didn’t have this group, none of us would be where we are.”
“When others are invested in you it gives you more incentive and it’s great having someone else keeping an eye on you and tracking your progress.”
Each of its members had attempted to stop smoking in the past.
“It’s good to hear of everyone else’s struggles, and to know we’re not alone in it. It’s been great to keep in touch outside the weekly group through text, emails and visits.”
The group plan to continue their Tuesday lunchtime meetings once the programme comes to an end.
They also intend to recommend and encourage others on site.
One of the group’s members lives once revolved around smoking, but now she describes the habit as “gross”.
I smoked for 13 years – about 10-20 cigarettes a day.
I enjoyed smoking at the time. It allowed me to stop for five minutes a take a break. But eventually my life started to revolve around when my next cigarette would be.
I’d tried to quit several times. I’ve tried Champix and patches and I’d gone cold turkey - But nothing worked.
So when the opportunity to join the group at work came up, I thought I’d give it another go.
I’m now five weeks smoke free.
I’m enjoying not being tied down by the habit and having a ton of extra time, and eating and sleeping more.
All I could do when I first stopped was think about smoking but I’m not thinking about it pretty much at all now.