Thursday October 19, 2017   Last updated 03:54AM
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Scratch cards smoke stop aid

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Maori and Pasifika smokers face barriers to quitting not faced by other New Zealanders.

That’s the message given to this week’s Public Health Association conference in Christchurch, based on work by Auckland University of Technology and Massey University researchers.

Dr Grace Wong from AUT says brief interventions, where doctors and nurses ask patients about their smoking and encourage them to quit with support, are effective at motivating people to stop smoking.

But cultural or communication issues involved with Maori and Pasifica patients means they are less likely to get this engagement from primary care professionals.

The researchers looked at ways of enhancing the brief smoking interventions with humour, including selling patients novelty scratch cards to win online prizes and a $1000 prize draw people could enter after being a month smokefree.

The interventions often worked because they provide novel and engaging twists on standard quit smoking advice for both nurses and smokers.

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