The Tobacco Leaf Controversy

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The Tobacco leaf, at first glance is a seemingly innocuous leaf yet it has created much debate and controversy since the early 20th century. In 1911 Isaac Adler conducted what is considered the “world’s first monolithic study on lung cancer” (Proctor, 2012) which showed a possible link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer. Adler wrote that the abuse of tobacco and alcohol were a possible cause of cancer, but this was not “yet ready for final judgement” (Proctor, 2012). What was once considered a ‘possibility’ that lung and other cancers could be linked to tobacco smoking is now proven by experts as being “the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer in the world” (Cancer Research UK, 2015). Cancer is not the only physical long term …show more content…
It’s continuing focus is on offering a culturally safe, option for Maori (and non-Maori) people who wish to give up smoking within a program using evidence based tools and education but with focus on the values and beliefs of the Maori culture. Dianne Wepa (2010) writes that the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi – partnership, participation and protection, form the framework of a culturally safe practice. According to Wepa, in order to work in a culturally safe way, health professionals need to work in partnership with the client, encourages client participation and work with them to protect their health - their taonga. Using these principles are a positive and effective way to promote smoking cessation and work in partnership with ‘at risk’ clients to prevent smoking and offer education and support. Working in a ‘culturally safe’ way can lead to better health outcomes for the client as it is aimed at “ improving health status and enhance the delivery of health and disability services” (Wepa, 2010, p. 162). Wepa suggests that it is also necessary for health professionals to be aware of their own culture and be conscious of any beliefs or values that may impede or create a barrier for their client in reaching their health goals (Wepa, 2010, p. 163). The Nation-wide program uses similar tools of other smoking cessation programs - NRT, …show more content…
An ‘ABC’ approach to discussing smoking cessation with patients is now encouraged (MOH, 2014). This system reminds the health care provider to ‘A’ – ask about smoking status, ‘B’- give brief advice and ‘C’ provide cessation support (MOH, 2014). This protocol is based on evidence based research which found that brief advice to stop smoking from health care professionals can improve the length of abstinence and encourage people to stop smoking who may not have thought to do so (MOH, 2014). Smoking cessation support, in the form of groups, face to face, telephone counselling and NRT have also proven effective in assisting people to stop smoking. The Ministry of Health has found that NRT can approximately double “the chance of long term abstinence” (MOH, 2014). Using a culturally safe, and ABC approach health professionals have the opportunity to reach patients and give them the information and access to the support they need to quit smoking. Instead of using the stages of change model, where health professionals wait for the patient to be ready to quit, patients are given an opportunity to discuss and learn about their options, every time they meet with a health professional regardless of their ‘stage’. This constant evolution of practice, where research and theory drive the way in which

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