The group of five men come together through a weekly support network set up by the Southern Stop Smoking Service and aided by Port Otago, which have provided the time, place and support for their staff.
Otago Stop Smoking Coach Jade Fraser said the major benefit for the men was that their employer allowed time for them to attend. Being shift workers, they do not know when they will be working week-to-week. Therefore, booking time to see a stop smoking coach would have been too difficult.
Port Otago People & Capability Advisor Christina Fricker said Port Otago set a Principle Goal which was to provide a healthy smoke-free workplace environment, support smoking cessation, and promote an organisational culture that normalises a smoke-free environment and encourages/supports staff who smoke, to become smoke-free by 30th June 2018.
A smoke free policy was created to minimise workers exposure to the passive inhalation of harmful cigarette smoke and to reduce the dangers of smoking related fires, she said.
Port Otago management also offered staff to attend a paid visit to their GP for advice and/or prescriptions and also extended support to employee's immediate family members.
"Port Otago celebrates the success of our workers, and to celebrate their journey to becoming smoke free, staff who attended the smoke free clinic will be given tickets to the rugby, including dinner, for them and their partners," Christina said.
Smoke free support will continue to be ongoing at Port Otago.
Check out some of their stories below!
Garry has been smoke free for four weeks and is enjoying spending more time with his family! Garry says his children would hassle him about smoking but he'd always brush it off until recently when he started thinking about his children growing up and being there for them. He decided he wanted to be healthier!
Max, who has been smoking for 54 years, was spending $175 per week on cigarettes and adding this back into his weekly income has been great. "It's like filling the truck up every week for free." Everything smells and tastes better, he says. Max has been smoke free for five weeks.
Jeff has been smoking for about 30 years and spending $155 per week. Seeing the yearly figure motivated Jeff to stop smoking, and the desire to watch his young girls grow up. Since stopping three weeks ago Jeff says he's able to enjoy playing with his children longer.
Des started smoking at the age of 10 and says, while he's determined, he has struggled to remain smoke free. He is enjoying having spare money on pay day and it is allowing him to live a better lifestyle, he says. Des has been smoke free for five days.