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New quit service targets Pacific smokers

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/07/2016

Smokers in Auckland's Pacific communities smokers are getting a new targeted approach aimed at helping them quit the habit.

Organisers say the Stop Smoking Service also seeks to improve smoke-free numbers among Maori and pregnant woman.

The Fono, Auckland's largest Pacific-owned health provider, will drive the project for the Auckland and Waitemata district health board region.

ProCare, a network of general practices, and Maori provider Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Maia Ltd are partners.

"Maori and Pacific are greatly over-represented when it comes to death rates from smoking," ProCare chief operating officer Dennis Baty said.

"We'll be working hard to reach and support these priority groups, as well as pregnant women."

Mr Baty said the programme would give smokers choice of options in helping them to quit, whether it was group-based sessions or one-to-one coaching.

The Fono chief executive Tevita Funaki says increasing access to help is important.

He cited Pacific Church-based sessions, or coaching at home for a mother who didn't have transport or childcare, as ways people could be supported in becoming smoke-free.

The service is available to anyone eligible for publicly-funded health services in the Auckland and Waitemata DHB regions.

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