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The Health Effects of Smoking to Maori and Non-Maori Clients

Info: 2572 words (10 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: smoking


The top leading cause of death for Maori and Non-Maori according to the Ministry of Health are Ischemic Heart Disease, Lung Cancer, Cerebrovascular Disease, and Diabetes. (“Major causes of death (all ages) | Ministry of Health NZ,” n.d.)

The leading cause of Lung Cancer is smoking with an 80-90 percent ratio. This is an important topic to investigate for me because this is a life-threatening matter that only one can control, with the help of the family, friends and the organization, New Zealand can be a smoking free environment. Being the top 2 leading cause of death to Maori ethnic, it is a calling for me to focus on this paper by educating them on this matter. This paper primarily aims to decrease the mortality rate of lung cancer by improving the health awareness of the effects of smoking in the body, raise awareness of lung cancer and its symptoms, what are the Maori perception towards smoking, how to overcome the bad habit of smoking and to be aware of what the programs are that the government has to offer with regards to minimizing smoking.

  1. Health Effects of Smoking

1. Lung Cancer

2. Smoking is either the direct cause or a contributing factor in 30% Cancer:

  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Cervical, Ovarian, Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer

3. The effects of a second hand smoking

B. The different insights of the Maori and Non Maori towards smoking, origin as to why Maori smoke

C. Different programs to stop smoking

1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy

2. Practice Relaxation Techniques

3. Call for Reinforcements

4. Go online for Supports

D. Smoke Free by 2025

A. Health Effects of Smoking

1. The usual questions that we are running at the back of our mind are questions like how do we get lung cancer or why is it the top 5 leading cause of death to Maori and non Maori people? We all know that cancer can be genetic and can also be acquired if we have bad habits like eating carcinogenic foods and with lung cancer the risk factors would be smoking and air pollution. I have asked some people as to why do they smoke and their usual answers are smoking helps them cope up with the stressful life they have, may it be from work or at home, smoking for some others would make them relieve and relax. Sometimes youth experienced peer pressure or out of curiosity they’ll do it. But the harmful effects that the chemicals inside a cigarette are obviously not being mind. When we play with fire and our hand got burn, we will actually put away our hand from the fire and perhaps put the fire off unlike smoking it will affect our body in a long term process but once it will scar our lungs that would be irreversible to cure. Our body would be experiencing a lot of physical reactions to every smoke we puff. This chemical highly affects the blood pressure, and increases pulse rate which can lead to palpitations and heart burns thus leads to disturbance in the entire body. There are over 4000 chemical compounds present in cigarette smoke at around 40 plus chemicals are known to be carcinogenic while 200 of it are poisonous ones. Examples of these compounds are carcinogens, benzene, formaldehyde, pesticides, TSNAs, vinyl chloride, toxic metals, arsenic, and cadmium. These chemicals are very toxic which can cause cancer cells. Lung Cancer is the uncontrolled abnormal cell growths that start on attacking one lung or both lungs. The abnormal cells don’t convert to normal cells but rather they rapidly divide and formed into tumor cells. A Passivesmokingmeans you inhale the smoke of one person that smoke which leads to air pollution and increases the risk of lung cancer, but it is still much less percentage than if you smoke yourself. The effect to reduce lung cancer is through prevention, early detection and treatment.

2. Smoking is one risk factor that causes head, neck, esophageal, breast, cervical, ovarian and prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, “smoking a pack a day doubles your risk factor for cancer.” DNA cells will be damage when smoke is inhaled in the body. My grandfather died of tongue cancer and he actually smoke like a pack of cigarettes each day. And before he died when he was still in the hospital he told my dad who was a smoker before that “if you love yourself and love my daughter (which is my mom) you need to quit smoking” so right there and then my dad never smoke again. Eighty-five percent of head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use. Smoking can accelerate cancerous changes in the cervix due to HPV. While women who smoked for 25 years or more and were still smoking had twice the risk of developing ovarian cancer as those who never smoked. Fatty tissues in your breast can be the resting place of carcinogenic compounds who smoke thus links smoking triggers breast cancer. Prostate cancer is simply the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells in the prostate which cigarettes has carcinogenic compounds that triggers cancer cells and attacks any part of the body that are weak. (Eldridge,L. (n.d.). Health Effects https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTPxldp-HeGdoPfBRXezMvnvl4FQXrVnhmI4JS4hEja4LQXXHoFof Smoking). This are the symptoms that you should watch out for and go direct consult your GP.

3. Passive smoking is the process where you breathe other people’s smoke or when you inhale somebody’s smoke. Back in the Philippines I myself have experienced this situation were all our neighbors are a chain smokers and I kept on telling them to smoke a little bit farther because my baby and I can smell the smoke. We have one of the worst air pollution back in our country thus leads to several of diseases like PTB, COPD, Lung cancer and Pneumonia. As an emergency nurse, I have witnessed a lot of patience who suffered from shortness of breath, coughing or vomiting blood and when I have assessed their habits one thing are common they are active smokers or victim of second hand smokers. That is why when I first step in New Zealand I fell in love with it not just because of its nature but it has a clean fresh air. Lung cancer and second hand smoking has been scientifically connected and linked since mid-1980s and the studies shows that there is a 20 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer to non-smoker who is exposed to second hand smoking. Just 30 minutes of exposure is enough to decrease blood flow to the heart. Around 350 New Zealanders are killed by others peoples tobacco smoke each year. Second hand smoke has been the cause of coronary heart disease, lung cancer, acute stroke, nasal sinus cancer, eye and nasal irritation. An adult who have never tried smoking and is living with a smoker has a 15 percent higher risk of death than those who are living in a smoke free household. Maori children are exposed greatly to second hand smoke than non Maori children.

  1. It was Captain James Cook who introduced smoking to Maori in the late 1700s. The Maori thought of him as a demon because his face was smoking and with fire so they poured water on him to check if the fire would go out and if not then he is a demon that needs to be killed. Tobacco is not a Maori tradition, but they became a heavy smoker when they adopted what was introduced to them. Compare to other ethnic groups in New Zealand, smoking to Moari is common most especially to areas in deprivation. In the 19th century most Maori women were painted or photograph with a pipe at hand while Pakeha women is seen with tobacco is unacceptable. In 1899 the Māori newspaperTe Puke ki Hikurangi, the smoke products are used by men, women and the youth for Maori while the Pakeha rule only older men are allowed to smoke while women and young women are not allowed at all. (Māori use of tobacco – Māori smoking, alcohol and drugs – tÅ«peka, waipiro me te tarukino – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. (n.d.).

Around 800 Maori dies each year because of the different diseases caused by smoking tobacco. There has been a 10 percent health gap inequality between Maori and non-Maori due to smoking. The Maori ethnic group actually spends around $260 million in cigarette taxes each year. The Moari leaders are straight forward although the community still control there decision or has a final say to their destiny. But the Maori principle will need mass mobilization and support to realize the benefits from such a commitment. (The Issues – Health – Secondhand Smoke – CanTobacco. (n.d.).

  1. Programs to help stop Smoking are:
  1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy- it is an invaluable aid to help people to quit smoking. If you are a heavy smoker and wanted to quit, NRT is an helpful material because it gives a cessation somewhat like when you’re smoking. It includes a patch, gum, lozenges which the government of New Zealand offers low cost of NRT. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a proven efficacious and safe aid for smoking cessation. However, initiation of NRT use remains low, and among those who do use the products insufficient dosages and early termination is common.
  2. Practice Relaxation Techniques- Cardio exercises helps you relax and divert yourself from the cravings you are feeling and you must also give your mouth something to chew on like sugarless gum, or hard candy, raw carrots, or celery nuts or something crunchy and satisfying.
  3. Calls for reinforcements- this is a program were you ask counseling or someone’s help for moral support most especially from your family, friends and a support group. A chat on the phone or face to face conversation and talk about your cravings or other good things to laugh about.
  4. Go for online supports- there are a lot of online sites that would assist an individual who wants to quit smoking. Reading blogs and other successful stories of people who successfully finished the programs would help uplift the spirit of a beginner. Some sites are www.orakeihealth.com, ngati hine health trust in whangarei, koriri marae hauora in wellington and many more. Expressing yourself to others and reading articles to other story relaxes you and can encourage you push through the program process. A motivation to push forward for a better health.
  1. Smoke free environment by 2025 is the government programs and their goals are not to ban the cigarettes but tobacco will be difficult to sell and supply. They will increase the tobacco tax per annum. Extend smoke free areas like inside the cars with children, parks and sport fields, bus stops and other transport settings. This will protect the people from the exposure of the second hand smoking. The goal is attainable if everyone would cooperate in attending smoke free events, encouraging and supporting more people to quit, reaching out and giving education to family, school, community and organizations. Tell Maori and Non Moari to not smoke around children and teach children that smoking is harmful to the body. (Smokefree 2025 | Smokefree. (n.d.).


The Maori ethnic has the highest incident rate of lung cancer and other diseases caused by smoking because majority of them have embraced smoking as part of their culture when introduced by the British colony. They have been living as a group or tribe in ancient days and today they’re living in an extended form family therefore if one family member is smoking it highly affects the smoker and the family member in a way of second had smoking and children seeing their family member smoke would think that smoking is acceptable and healthy. As a healthcare manager I would highly suggest that health education would be implemented to every facility or company twice a year. This would help the community reach out to each and everyone with no exception to its race, gender, age and social status. Health awareness would slowly help Maori individual accept and adopt that smoking is dangerous to our health. There has been an equal and fair treatment with regards to health care programs as far as I have researched. May it be a citizen or resident of New Zealand, a Maori or non Maori the service has been made for their convenience. Some facilities have even interpreters to help cater the needs of individual. I have observed that some bus stops, train stations don’t have no smoking signs which the public can smoke freely and that can harm other people. To help achieve the governments program of Smokefree by 2025 as an individual we should help our family members, friends, and colleagues educate them and help them go through the program on quitting smoking.


  1. Major Causes of Death (all ages). (n.d.). RetrievedOctober2014, from http://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-data-sets/maori-health-data-and-stats/tatau-kahukura-maori-health-chart-book/nga-mana-hauora-tutohu-health-status-indicators/major-causes-death-all-ages
  2. Eldridge,L. (n.d.). Health Effects of Smoking. Retrieved from http://http://lungcancer.about.com/od/causesoflungcance1/a/effectsofsmoking.htm
  3. The Issues – Health – Secondhand Smoke – CanTobacco. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cantobacco.org.nz/the-issues/health/secondhand-smoke
  4. Māori use of tobacco – Māori smoking, alcohol and drugs – tÅ«peka, waipiro me te tarukino – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. (n.d.). InTe Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand – Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand is building a comprehensive guide to our peoples, natural environment, history, culture, economy and society. Retrieved from http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/maori-smoking-alcohol-and-drugs-tupeka-waipiro-me-te-tarukino/page-1
  5. Smokefree 2025 | Smokefree. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://smokefree.org.nz/smokefree-2025
  1. http://youtu.be/9LF7qoJdEXc


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Smoking is an extremely crucial public health issue which is considered to be an immediate and serious threat to many developing countries across the globe. Being one of the most significant determinants of increased rate of mortality and ill-health throughout the world, smoking is still a preventable epidemic.

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