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The Kaiwhakahaere comments.

LAST MONTH, I attended the first-ever Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa New Zealand Symposium in Auckland. Smokefree Nurses' director Grace Wong honoured the nurses present, recognising that "nurses are a powerful, effective workforce and nursing innovation is second to none".

Royal College of Nursing (United Kingdom) tobacco adviser Jennifer Percival [not at the symposium] also acknowledges the tremendous potential nurses have to implement smoking cessation interventions and the goals of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Nurses' power is recognised by the tobacco industry. Percival quotes a 1998 Phillip Morris document which states: "... as they [nurses] become more active in politics ... they could easily be formidable opponents of the tobacco industry." (1)

A multi-pronged approach is needed to achieve a Smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand by 2025--from efforts within the health sector to political advocacy. As Auckland University professors Robert Beaglehole and Ruth Bonita said at a recent UN meeting, "a turbo-charged effort" is needed against the sale and consumption of tobacco, with the sale of tobacco phased out internationally by 2040, and global action on a scale not seen yet. (2)

The symposium provided the opportunity to integrate the latest evidence on smoking cessation interventions, including the use of motivational interviewing (MI) techniques as a tool to encourage smokefree conversations with our patients, whanau, hapu and iwi.

Using the language of change

Canterbury University nursing researcher Mark Wallace-Bell told the symposium MI was a collaborative style of communication, focused on the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivations and commitment to a specific goal, by eliciting and exploring the person's own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion. This method is effective both on a one-to-one basis and as part of a group-based intervention programme. MI has proved to be effective at helping someone stop smoking over a seven-week period, with MI sessions of an hour each week.

Empowering our patients to change is essential if we are to achieve a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. If MI is to work as a cessation tool, nursing leaders will need to commit more time and effort to prioritise having smokefree conversations with their patients, rather than tacking them on at the end of other conversations. Wallace-Bell argued that smoking cessation conversations should be part of standard practice. Evidence shows that "brief interventions" have a weak effect. Specific times should be scheduled for these smokefree discussions.

An NZNO delegation will be attending the International Council of Nurses' conference in Korea in June where we expect the smokefree issue will be raised yet again at this international forum.

References

(1) International Network of Women against Tobacco. (2009-2010) Can you support your Nursing colleagues to become Tobacco Control Advocates? http://inwat.org/content/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/2009_Winter.pdf. Retrieved 27/03/15.

(2) University of Auckland. (2015) NZ experts lead call for a tobacco-free world by 2040. www.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/news-events-and-notices/news/news-2015/03/nz-experts-lead-call-for-a- tobacco- free-world-by-2040.html. Retrieved 27/03/15.

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Title Annotation:Tell us what you think
Author:Nuku, Kerri
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Apr 1, 2015
Words:500
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