Wahine Maori, or Maori Women, have been stepping up over the last several months in an effort to help smokers quit once and for all
Around the world countries are setting goals to make their people smoke free in the near future. While each country’s goal is more or less the same, there have been a variety of initiatives and motivators put into play, with the end goal of encouraging citizens not to smoke. In New Zealand, their government has an ambitious goal to be smoke-free by 2025. To help incentivize quitting the state has put into place an ongoing tax increase on tobacco products and 2019 marks the third year in a row that the tax will increase by a massive 10%. As a result, these increases are making smoking more and more of a financial burden on individuals and families.
As it stands now approximately 45% of Maori women, or Wahine Maori, smoke even through pregnancies. Not only are these women putting their own health at risk, but also that of their children. Not only that, but entire families are suffering for it financially as the prices go up. Until recently efforts to reach and persuade this population have been limited at best, but now with the new year many Wahine Maori are stepping up in support of vaping, making an effort to help others quit smoking for good.
Wahine Maori Speak Out
Some women who have been able to quit smoking with the use of vaping have come forward to tell their stories and encourage others to do the same. One mother, Mel Morris saved hundreds of dollars within the first few months of quitting, she has been able to provide her children with more, and even become debt free. “I created a smoking account, so all that money (previously spent on smoking) was put into savings…I love it– I feel so proud and seeing the kids reaction like ‘Wow mum, really? It’s so expensive’ but I can do it now.”
Other mothers, like Hineatua Smith used vaporizers to give up smoking during pregnancy. Smith says “Giving up while pregnant is really hard. I don’t think I could have done it so easily without the vape.” While studies have not shown the effects of vaping while pregnant, the information on how harmful smoking can be for both the mother and child is available. Smokefree advocate Dr. Hayden McRobbie spoke on the subject of vaping during pregnancy “Ideally women should have smoke-free and vape-free pregnancies. However, we do know that vaping is likely to be much less harmful to both mothers and babies’ health than smoking is.”
Facts About Vaping
There is ample evidence about just how much safer vaping is than smoking. Back in 2015 Public Health England released studies that found vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking. Another study found that the lifetime excess cancer risk, or the likeliness of developing cancer beyond genetic disposition, for a vaper is 57,000 times lower than that of a smoker. This is all excellent news for those looking to improve their health with vaping.
Even more than just the health benefits, vaping also makes it easier to quit smoking. One study out of the University of Louisville found that vaping was a more effective smoking cessation tool than nicotine gums, nicotine patches, and even prescription drugs. The shared psychological cues, such as bringing your hand to your mouth or exhaling a cloud-like substance, can be a massive benefit to smokers looking to quit.
Vaping is also safer for bystanders, which is essential when talking about families. Vapor has been shown to dissipate nearly immediately, with studies finding the air quality in homes that allow vaping and homes that do not are virtually the same. This means family members and friends are not put in harm’s way like they are with second-hand smoke.
While it would appear that New Zealand’s tactic of drastically increasing the tax of tobacco products has been working at deterring people from smoking, they have also caused a massive financial and psychological burdens on many of their people. One of the best ways out of this burden is to turn to vaping. Even without the gigantic taxes imposed in New Zealand, smokers can find massive savings in switching to vaping, while also improving the health of themselves and their families.
While they may not have disseminated enough information or targeted the right audiences, the government of New Zealand has established helplines for those interested in quitting. There are several different ways to contact these outlets, and they can offer you information on vaping and help support you in your quit attempt. So check them out here Quit.org/nz
Do you think it’s a big deal that Maori Women are getting involved in the vaping debate? What’s the most significant benefit you’ve noticed from switching to vaping? How should we work to support programs like those found in New Zealand? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.