April 13, 2017
Smoking programmes miss mark for wahine
Indigenous women in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States of America are not getting the help they need to stop smoking when pregnant.
That's the conclusion of a study published today in the international journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
It found in all those countries the smoking rates of indigenous pregnant women was at least twice as high as non-indigenous women , and in the case of Inuit women, there was an 83 percent smoking rate.
Co-author Marewa Glover, an associate professor at Massey University’s School of Public Health, says despite cultural differences the indigenous people in each country experience similar marginalisation and social disadvantage.
Colonisation meant they received proportionately less of society’s benefits, such as education, healthcare or employment and were disproportionately exposed to environmental risks.
The cumulative stress drives higher smoking rates and undermines women’s ability to abstain from smoking, even when they are pregnant.
The researchers want more support programmes and for existing stop smoking programmes to ensure they reach pregnant Indigenous women.
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