New tenants must go smokefree, current tenant Aaron Pauling is already choosing to
Last updated 11:13, October 5 2016
Aaron Pauling is determined to quit.
The Hanson Court resident has been smoking 35 cigarettes a day for more than 30 years, but a heart attack this year finally convinced him to break his habit.
Pauling is creating his smokefree home just as Wellington City Council ushers in its new smokefree policy.
From October new council housing tenants are banned from smoking inside their flat, part of the council's push to make all housing smokefree by 2025.
"I wasn't too happy when I first heard about it," Pauling said.What helped change his mind was the personal experience of trying to quit.
Pauling, 51 has been cutting back his smoking since a heart attack in June.
"I did see it coming," Pauling said.
It was his second heart attack and last year he had triple bypass surgery. But he said this one "did wake me up a lot more".
He was in his apartment in Newtown when it happened and had to call the ambulance himself.
From 35 cigarettes each day he has now cut down to five. "Hopefully by the end of the year I'll be down to zero."
As part of his quest to quit he is opting-in for his apartment to become a smokefree zone.
It is all about "how I can better manage the environment I am in," Pauling said.
The first tenants affected by the council's new policy moved into new units in Wellington on Monday.
The changes were outlined under the city housing smokefree policy 2016. In May last year the council also banned smoking in all communal areas in council housing.
Current tenants can continue to smoke in their flats or volunteer to go smokefree like Pauling.
The new ban will also apply to e-cigarettes.
Wellington city housing manager John McDonald said the emphasis of the policy was on education.
Smoking cessation group Kokiri Marae provides support to residents and a series of information evenings have been held for tenants.
Christchurch Council added a non-smoking clause for new council housing tenants in January 2014.
Housing New Zealand does not have a smoking policy for its properties.