Ground floor, Ilam Health Building, 110 Memorial Avenue, Burnside, Christchurch : Ph 03 351 6198 :

Smoking Cessation

Ilam Medical is committed to supporting people to quit smoking and remain smokefree. It can be a difficult time and we want to offer as much support as required.
The nurses are able to refer you to stop smoking Canterbury, this is a great funded service that provides ongoing support and nicotine replacement therapy products, such as patches, lozenges or gums. Our doctors are also able to offer prescription for Champix, if you would like to try this as patches have not worked for you in the past, please make an appointment with the doctor to discuss your options. 


Impacts of Smoking

Tobacco use and breathing in other people’s smoke (second-hand smoke) causes about 5,000 deaths every year through cancer, stroke and heart disease. It is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand. To reduce your risk, you need to stop smoking completely, not just cut back.

If you smoke tobacco, odds are, you WILL be affected by it.

  • Smoking causes one in four cancer deaths in New Zealand.
  • It is a major cause of blindness, with about 1,300 people in New Zealand having untreatable blindness due to current and past smoking.
  • If you are pregnant, inhaled smoke is a poison that enters your bloodstream and passes through the placenta to the baby.
  • Smoking increases the risk of developing cancers of the lung, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, pancreas, cervix, colon and rectum (colorectal), stomach and bladder.
  • Smoking increases the risk of developing diseases of the urinary tract, pelvis, bladder and digestive tract.
  • Forty percent of all strokes in people aged under 65 years are caused by smoking.
  • Forty percent of heart disease in those under 65 is caused by smoking.
  • Smokers have two-to-three times the risk of having a sudden cardiac death (when the heart suddenly stops beating) than non-smokers.


Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

The main reason that people smoke is because they are addicted to nicotine. NRT is a medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in tobacco smoke.
It can help reduce unpleasant withdrawal effects, such as bad moods and cravings, which may occur when you stop smoking.


Smoking cessation medications

Varenicline (brand name Champix) is a medicine that works in 2 ways. It reduces cravings for nicotine like NRT, but it also blocks the rewarding and reinforcing effects of smoking. Evidence suggests it’s the most effective medicine for helping people stop smoking. Varenicline is only available on prescription, so you’ll usually need to see your doctor to get it. It’s taken as 1 to 2 tablets a day. You should start taking it a week or 2 before you try to quit. A course of treatment usually lasts around 12 weeks, but it can be continued for longer if necessary.



Quitline is open 24/7 and can help you quit in a number of different ways. You can ring, text, email or do it all online.  Call Quitline free on 0800 778 778 or text 4006. Quit Advisors work with people to make a plan. People who use Quitline’s services and support are more likely to successfully quit than those who try to quit alone.

  • At Quitline’s website, people can register for free help, plus see how much money they are saving by quitting – there’s a ‘Quit Stats’ tool. There’s also really good info about vaping to quit.
  • Join Quitline’s blog community for 24 hour support from people who are going through just the same trials.
  • Quitline has a Facebook page at
  • Register by phone, text or online and get sent texts to help motivate you as you quit.  
  • 24/7 personal support for both phone and text services.


Helpful websites:
Quitstrong NZ
Stop Smoking Canterbury