New approach for Māori women to quit smoking
Hon Jenny Salesa
Associate Minister of Health
MP for Manukau East
22 November 2018
Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa welcomes a new report released today highlighting innovative ways of working with young Māori women to successfully quit smoking.
“It is seriously concerning that young Maori women, aged 18 to 24, have the highest rate of smoking in New Zealand and the Ministry of Health is working to address this as a priority,” says Jenny Salesa.
“This report evaluates four prototype initiatives working with young Māori women to quit smoking. It looks at some of the key reasons they start smoking and what makes it hard for them to stop.
“The evaluation shows that addressing some of the wider issues in these women’s lives was more helpful in getting them to stop smoking than emphasising smoking cessation as the most important goal.
“This ‘holistic wellbeing’ approach has had extraordinary results, which I have seen when visiting Turuki Healthcare in South Auckland. It has not only helped young Māori women to quit smoking – it has also had a much broader and positive impact on their lives and that of their children.
“Focusing on the overall wellbeing of these young Māori women and their families – with respect to their culture, identity and ability to manage their daily lives – is vitally important in getting them to quit smoking. The one-size fits all approach does not work for everyone.
“These young Māori wahine also helped in co-designing the stop smoking service which meant it was truly responsive to what was going to work for them.
“This work will guide how we deliver stop smoking services in the future. It will also help in achieving greater equity in the health system, which is a key health priority for this Government.
“I would like to congratulate all those involved in these four initiatives. I hope that all stop-smoking services and the public take the time to learn from this excellent initiative,” says Jenny Salesa.
The first phase of this project involved gathering information from young Māori women and culminated in the report Exploring why young Māori women smoke. Insights from this phase formed the foundation of the second evaluation phase, which has led to this report, Addressing the Challenges of Young Māori Women Who Smoke: A developmental evaluation of the phase two demonstration project.
The four prototype initiatives were delivered across eight-months in Taranaki, Southland, South Auckland and Palmerston North earlier this year.
Key elements that supported young Māori women to stop smoking:
• A holistic wellbeing approach – addressing whole of life issues facing young Māori women and stopping smoking within this context.
• Reframing quitting in the context of living well – the use of goal setting and planning processes to identify and prioritise personal and whanau wellbeing goals that are important to the women.
• Being responsive to the needs of women with priorities set by the women – employing a ‘whatever-it-takes’ mentality when responding to engagement issues and supporting women to lead their own development and set their own priorities.
• Making non-smoking more attractive than smoking – creating positive, social support networks and environments for the women by facilitating connections with their peers and providing fun and engaging activities.
• Use of culture as a connector and enabler – the use of tikanga (cultural practices) to connect women to each other, to their cultural roots and to positively affirm their identity as Māori.