Me Mutu Tātou/Let's All Quit - English content - HE2383

June 2021
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Bilingual resource in te reo Māori and in English to support Māori smokers to quit smoking.

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June 2021
June 2021
Booklet A5
HE code
Available languages

The full resource:

NOTE: The printed version of this resource contains both Māori and English text. The online content below is in English only; click here to view the online te reo Māori content.

Quitline 0800 778 778 or text 4006

We can help you

Smoking is a powerful addiction. You might have found it hard to give up in the past. We understand, and we’re here to support you. Kia kaha, stay strong, you can do it!


Call the Quitline for free advice and support to help you quit smoking. 

Quitline 0800 778 778 or text 4006


Sign up to Txt2Quit and we’ll send you free quitting tips and support straight to your mobile.

Register at

Quit Stats:

See how much money you’re saving with your very own real-time Quit Stats.

Register at

Quit Blogs:


Join the blogging whānau get tautoko from others who are also quitting smoking.

Register at

Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges:


Get a supply of one of these products for just $5 – it’s never been cheaper to quit.

Register at or call Quitline on 0800 778 778 or text 4006.

Quit Plan:

Create your own Quit Plan to help you on your quitting journey. Follow the steps online or talk to an advisor on the phone.

Register at or call Quitline on 0800 778 778 or text 4006.

Face to face: To get face-to-face help, contact your doctor, local
healthcare provider or visit to find a quit coach. You can also call Quitline to find a face-to-face service in your area.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.

My strength is not mine alone, but the strength of many.

Quitting smoking is an individual journey but there are many walking by your side. You are not alone. Quitline can support you with a national phone and online service. Kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) services are delivered locally within most communities. Both services work together to help you become smokefree.

Smoking is not a part of who we are

Our breath is our life-force. As Tāne breathed life into the first woman, Hineahuone, he recited this ancient karakia:

Tihei mauri ora (Behold the breath of life)

Ki te whaiao (Strive for the new world)

Ki te ao mārama! (The world of light!)

Every breath is precious. Hongi is an example of this. When we greet each other, we are sharing our life-breath. But when we smoke, every puff poisons us with over 4000 chemicals.

Look to the stars*

Smoking attacks every aspect of our health and wellbeing – it blocks out the stars.

Mauriora (Cultural health)

Smoking isn’t a Māori tradition, yet it kills many Māori a year. Many are kaumātua, holders of history for our whānau.

Te oranga (Healthy foundations)

With new energy and health from quitting smoking, you can do more of the things you love.

Waiora (Healthy environment)

As well as damaging our bodies, cigarette poisons linger in clothes, furniture, cars and the air we share with whānau and friends.

Toiora (Healthy lifestyles)

Things like kapa haka, waka ama, walking and running – even just breathing – will all feel easier without cigarettes.

* Adapted from Professor Sir Mason Durie’s Te Pae Māhutonga model for Māori health that uses the Southern Cross constellation.

A challenge from the past

A leader of Te Arawa/Ngāti Rangitihi could see the dangers long before it was proved that smoking kills. In 1883 Raureti Mokonui-ā-rangi composed a haka warning about the trap of smoking:

Ko te kōrero, ko te aha?

Ko te whakaatu, ko te aha? Turi! Pōturi! Nei anō ngā rore mōu

Turi! Pōturi! He wairangi nōu

Kua takoto te mānuka

The challenge has been laid down

Steps to quit smoking

1. Set a quit date

Try to choose a time when you don’t have extra stress or pressure to deal with.

2. Know your reasons

  • Cost – A pack a day costs about $12,400 per year, and that cost is only going to rise. What would you rather spend the money on?
  • Tamariki and mokopuna – Children of smokers are seven times more likely to become smokers themselves. You’ll be setting them a good example by quitting.
  • Health – Tobacco companies sell the only consumer product that kills people when used as the manufacturer intends. The good news is that as soon as you stop smoking, your body begins to repair itself.
  • Whānau and friends – Even before you quit yourself you can support others to stop smoking. Once you’ve quit you can encourage others by being a good listener and giving advice only when asked. It’s about tautoko and manaakitanga – looking after each other.

3. Know your triggers

  • Addiction to nicotine – The patches, gum and lozenges can help your physical cravings.
  • Habits – Do you smoke after kai or while drinking, or with a cup of coffee or tea? Have a list of other things you can do instead of smoking at these times.
  • Feelings – Emotions are big triggers, too. You might smoke for comfort when sad, for relief when stressed, for something to do when bored. What could you do instead?

4. Use patches, gum or lozenges

They double your chances of quitting for good. A supply of one of these products is just $5. Call Quitline 0800 778 778 or text 4006 or order from

5. Stay quit

You may sometimes get strong cravings to smoke, even years after quitting. This is normal and doesn’t mean you are failing. Use the four Ds:

  • Delay – Pause instead of acting on the urge to smoke. Don’t open a pack or light a cigarette. After a few minutes, the urge to smoke will pass.
  • Deep breathe – Take a long slow breath in and then breathe out slowly. Repeat three times.
  • Do something else – Take your mind off smoking by taking action – put on some music, go for a walk, ring a friend or keep your hands busy.
  • Drink water – Sip the water slowly, holding it in your mouth for a few moments to savour the taste.

You have control over your own body

Moving away from old habits lets you take control of your life. Some people say they are sick of feeling like a slave to tobacco, as if they are chained to smoking. Your health and fitness and your sense of wellbeing will improve. You’ll feel proud once you’ve done it, and you’ll be more able to take on other challenges.

Dealing with relapse

It takes most people more than a few goes before they quit for life. If you do find yourself back in your old smoking patterns, here’s some things to help you quit again:

  • Ask yourself, ‘Is this just a slip-up?’ One cigarette doesn’t make you a smoker – don’t use a slip-up as an excuse to go back to smoking.
  • What caused you to go back to smoking? Was it another smoker? A crisis in your life? Did you think you could just have one? Did you stop using your patches, gum or lozenges too soon?
  • Seek help if you relapse. Services such as Quitline and Aukati KaiPaipa understand how hard it is to quit and will support you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve asked them for help before – they will be there for you as many times as it takes.
  • Believe in yourself. Yes, it may be hard work, but you’ve done other hard things before.
  • Try, if you can, to take action very soon after relapsing.
  • Remember: just one cigarette will hurt.

Getting support

  • Call Quitline 0800 778 778 or text 4006. It’s free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or go to
  • Visit your doctor or medical centre.
  •  Or visit to find a quit coach in your area.
Ka hinga, ka tū, ka ora!

You fall, you get up, you thrive!

ISBN 978-0478-19369-5 (print)
ISBN 978-0-478-19370-1 (online)