16 Nov 2011

Quit smoking programme by Maori for Maori launched

7:52 pm on 16 November 2011

A quit smoking coaching programme run by Maori for Maori has been set up in the Waikato region and aims to expand on ways to get tangata whenua off cigarettes.

Quit Coach was launched last week.

More than 50 people from Maori health providers across the district attended and have been trained as coaches.

The programme, funded by the Waikato District Health Board, trains health staff in nicotine replacement therapy to help whanaunga, or relatives, to stop smoking.

Waikato DHB's Maori Health general manager Ditre Tamatea says it's different to other programmes - even though a common goal is to reduce the number of Maori who smoke.

He says that's because it is run by Maori for Maori.

Mr Tamatea says nationally more than 500 Maori die as a result of smoking each year.