31 May 2012:
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is celebrating World Smokefree Day – a global event that draws attention to the effects of smoking, on Thursday 31 May.
NZNO kaiwhakahaere, Kerri Nuku is a member of Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa New Zealand (SNANZ) and is NZNO’s spokesperson for Smokefree Coalition Tupeka Kore Campaign. She is clear about the need for stronger action to increase quit rates.
“We are pleased to see price increases for tobacco in the 2012 Budget. Aiming for a Smokefree Aotearoa is a top priority for nurses and hitting consumers in the pocket is one way to do it.
Nuku is clear that price rises should not be the only way though. “We must ensure that smokers are supported in their quit attempts every step of the way; that means holistic, culturally appropriate and community based quitting services.”
“Raising tobacco prices is not a magic bullet and kaimahi hauora and nurses who work in the community know that some low income families will struggle. If the right stop-smoking services aren’t in place, higher prices will mean families are disadvantaged.”
“As health professionals, we deal first hand with the consequences of tobacco use every day. We see its effects on our patients’ physical and mental health, and the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of their whānau,” she says.
“Eradicating smoking is the single most important and attainable thing we can do to reduce inequalities in mortality for Māori and Pacific peoples and NZNO members are committed to supporting patients to quit and stay quit.” Kerri Nuku says.
For further information about quitting smoking, phone Quitline on 0800 778778 or visit www.quit.org.nz More information about World Smokefree Day can be found at www.worldsmokefreeday.org.nz