Help for Maori nurse smokers sought.
Subject: Nurses (Health aspects)
Nurses (Behavior)
Maoris (Behavior)
Maoris (Health aspects)
Smoking (Distribution)
Smoking (Demographic aspects)
Smoking (Health aspects)
Pub Date: 05/01/2010
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: May, 2010 Source Volume: 16 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 690 Goods & services distribution Advertising Code: 59 Channels of Distribution Computer Subject: Company distribution practices
Product: Product Code: 8043100 Nurses NAICS Code: 621399 Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 227796731
Full Text: Now is the time to take action to keep our whanau free from tobacco harm and death, said Te Runanga o Aotearoa NZNO's kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku during an oral presentation at Parliament last month. She was addressing members of the Maori Affairs Select Committee who are conducting an inquiry into tobacco effects on Maori.

Nuku admitted that smoking rates among Maori nurses remained far too high (over 30 percent as opposed to around 14 percent among European nurses). "We need your help to support Maori health professionals to stop smoking; to support Maori health professionals to support communities, whanau, hapu, and iwi to quit; and to pass legislation that will see smoking numbers decline and continue to decline."

A member of both Nurses for a Smokefree Aotearoa and the Smokefree Coalition, Nuku acknowledged the Maori response to smoking cessation campaigns had not been as successful as non-Maori. Maori nurses who smoked also faced stigma and guilt for their addiction. "Many would like to quit," she said, "but need supportive programmes to assist them in their efforts. We know from international research that what works is smoking cessation programmes targeted specifically at nurses. NZNO believes this would be an effective way of encouraging health professionals who smoke to quit. You can help put this plan into place."

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Nuku reminded the committee of the biggest barrier to health outcomes in Maori communities--the fact Maori health professionals working in primary health care services were paid, on average, 25 percent less than their colleagues in district health boards.

"Maori health improvements require Maori health workers, so whether we are talking about smoking cessation programmes or a whanau-based approach to Maori well-being, Maori health professionals are the key to success. Unless we achieve pay equity, our highly prized and overworked 'Maori for Maori' workforce wilt continue to be a limited resource, and any new initiatives will continue to struggle and fail. We urge you to look beyond the symptoms of ill health in our communities to the cause. Inequalities in the health sector are a barrier to reducing inequalities in our people."

NZNO would support any legislation that aimed to eliminate tobacco supply in Aotearoa New Zealand, Nuku said. It strongly supported the Smokefree Coalition recommendations to the Committee, including legislative and policy measures that aimed to eliminate tobacco; the appointment of a Ministerial Taskforce to provide advice on eliminating tobacco from Aotearoa; the removal of all tobacco displays from point of sale with immediate effect; and a yearly increase in tobacco tax.
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