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Keywords:

  • Smoking cessation;
  • mass media;
  • health services (indigenous)

Abstract

Objective: To assess any effects among Māori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) smokers and their whānau (the traditional Māori family unit) of a campaign designed to support Māori smokers to quit smoking.

Method: New Zealand-wide cross sectional population surveys between 2000 and 2002 of smokers and whānau pre- and post-airing of the campaign. Measures included recall and awareness of the campaign; perceptions of the campaign; and campaign-attributed changes in quitting-related attitudes and behaviours.

Results: Seventy-eight per cent of smokers and 73% of whānau were able to recall the campaign one year following its launch. The television commercials (TVCs) were consistently rated very believable or very relevant by over half of the smokers who had seen them. More than half of smokers (54%) stated that the campaign had made them more likely to quit.

Conclusion: This nationwide mass media cessation campaign developed to deliver a cessation message to indigenous people was received positively by Māori smokers and their whānau and played a role in prompting quit attempts.

Implications: Social marketing campaigns have an important role as part of a tobacco control program to reduce high smoking prevalence among Māori and inequalities in health outcomes between Māori and other New Zealanders.