June 22, 2016
University focus on Maori smoking
University of Auckland researchers have secured funding for two studies aimed at tackling Maori smoking.
The first is a head to head trial that will use more than 2000 Maori participants from the Lakes District Health Board region to compare the effective use of two quit smoking aids, Cytisine and Varenicline.
The second study will look at 262 participants from the Auckland region who suffer from a lung condition called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD.
Associate Professor Natalie Walker says the Cytisine study focuses on Maori because the rate of smoking is so high in this group and so they potentially have the most to gain from help to quit smoking.
Cystisine is cheaper than Varenicline and is found in the native kowhai tree, so it may be more acceptable to Maori.
The COPD study will look at preventing smoking relapse in patients with the disease, which has the symptoms of shortness of breath, cough or fatigue and reduced effort tolerance.
Dr Walker says Maori are five times more likely to die from COPD than non-Maori and develop the condition 20 years earlier.
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