Suc­cess for city’s ‘quit smok­ing’ team ap­proach

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

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.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Broad­way Ra­di­ol­ogy staff Amanda Wal­lis, Carol Christensen and Su­san Don­ald are pro­mot­ing the ben­e­fits of smoke­free to preg­nant ul­tra­sound scan pa­tients and their fam­i­lies.

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