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WERO group quit smoking competition goes national

03/07/2013 08:47 (288 Day 06:50 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- The highly successful group quit smoking contest WERO has just been funded for three years, enabling the first national competition to start on September 1, according to the University of Auckland.


Whanau End smoking Regional whanau Ora challenge (WERO) involves teams of 10 regular smokers who compete to have the most quitters after three months and win $5,000 cash for their community group or marae. It was developed with Maori and Pacific smokers in mind, focusing on teams rather than individuals, being competitive and giving communities a chance to raise money for a good cause, according to the University of Auckland.

The first competition between Māori and Pacific teams from Auckland and Northland had an end of contest quit rate of 36 percent. This compares well against the estimated four percent of people who quit without any support.

A second competition between Northland and Ngati Kahungunu in the Hawke’s Bay had similarly high rates of quitting with all ten members in the Northland winning team quit and two top teams in Hawkes Bay reaching nine out of ten smoke-free.

“WERO brings smokers together to support each other with quitting,” said Dr Marewa Glover, Director of the Centre for Tobacco Control Research at The University of Auckland. “It’s almost like a do-it-yourself or do-it-together approach although plenty of expert stop smoking support is offered by WERO and existing stop smoking services if teams want it,” she added.

“The national competition is open to teams from anywhere in New Zealand. We’re expecting at least 15 teams from the South Island, more than 15 just from Auckland and lots more from throughout the North Island. We could end up with four competing regions each vying for a $5,000 prize”, she said.



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