Insights into Māori women smoking

To reduce the smoking rates for New Zealanders our approach has been based on international best practices. While these approaches have had a significant effect for most groups, the smoking rates for Māori remain relatively high.

The Ministry of Health has recently taken a new approach of 'client insights' to the problem of high Māori smoking rates, particularly through the search for a deeper understanding of some of the people at the centre of this issue, young Māori women.

Through the project ‘Addressing the challenge of young Māori women who smoke’ the Ministry used data, evidence and insights to find out about the barriers affecting young Māori women’s ability to quit smoking. This included:

  • taking a look at the evidence of what works in smoking cessation
  • using data from Statistic’s New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) about the lives of young Māori women who smoke and making sense of that data through analytics
  • engaging with over 50 young Māori women, listening to the stories of their lives and their relationship with smoking.

From this project the Ministry has learnt a lot about the complexity of the lives of young Māori women, the things that challenge them and the strengths that uphold them and provide opportunities for change.

Read the reports and datasheet prepared by the Ministry:

This deeper understanding will allow the Ministry to take action to test and evaluate new services and approaches that directly relate to the lives and needs of those women, in supporting them to stop smoking.

We are now moving to the second phase of this project, applying the insights gained to co-design services that better match the lives and needs of young Māori women who smoke.

The Māori Affairs Committee’s report was clear that the term ‘smokefree’ was intended to communicate an aspirational goal and not a commitment to the banning of smoking altogether by 2025. On that basis, the Government agreed with the goal of reducing smoking prevalence and tobacco availability to minimal levels, thereby making New Zealand essentially a smokefree nation by 2025.

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