Success for city’s ‘quit smoking’ team approach
News that the New Zealand Defence Force is aiming to be the world’s first smokefree military by 2020 made the biggest headline on Wednesday, May 31 - World No Smoking Day.
While this policy will make an impact locally through bases at Linton, Ohakea and Waiouru, there are other Palmerston Northbased quit smoking initiatives that are already enjoying a quiet success.
One has already resulted in several referrals to Te Ohu Auahi Mutunga Regional Stop Smoking Service.
During May, the MidCentral District Health Board Public Health Service has taken a tagteam approach involving TOAM and Broadway Radiology for its no smoking messages and activities.
Fay Selby-Law from TOAM said the campaign, which started about three weeks ago, was based on the importance of pregnant women being smokefree for their own wellbeing and that of their babies.
‘‘It’s also about the wellbeing of the family. The children of parents who smoke are more likely to become smokers themselves.’’
While only 15 per cent of the population smoke, that figure increases to 46 per cent among Maori and Pasifika.
Selby-Law said they had been looking to target the quit smoking message to pregnant women at hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and midwives, before realising that most women undergo at least one ultrasound scan during their pregnancy.
‘‘When Broadway Radiology moved to its new building, it gave us a chance to have a discussion about improving the opportunity to talk to pregnant women about smoking when they come in for their scans, and they widened it to include all their patients, and that’s amazing for us.’’
Broadway Radiology clinical services manager Leigh Jewell said staff talk about the benefits of giving up, and can refer patients to free support services through an electronic referral system, making the process as seamless as possible.
‘‘It’s not about stigmatising smokers, it’s about providing support to those who want to quit.’’
Jewell said patients already referred through the scheme were really keen to give up. As far as she was aware, it was the first collaborative approach involving a radiology centre in the country.
Julie Beckett from MidCentral DHB Public Health Services praised the initiative and said Broadway Radiology was leading the way in promoting access for smokers to specialised support services like TOAM.
Broadway Radiology staff Amanda Wallis, Carol Christensen and Susan Donald are promoting the benefits of smokefree to pregnant ultrasound scan patients and their families.