9th March 2018,
Richard Edwards, Danny Tu, James Stanley, Greg Martin, Heather Gifford, Rhiannon Newcombe
New Zealand has an explicit “Smokefree 2025” goal often interpreted as reducing the prevalence of smoking to under 5% by 2025 including among all major population groups.1 Monitoring smoking among…
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We examined recent smoking trends among doctors and nurses in New Zealand using recent census data. We found that smoking had declined steadily and by 2013 only 2% of male and female doctors and 9% of male and 8% of female nurses were regular cigarette smokers. Smoking was more common among Māori doctors (7%) and nurses (19%), and also among psychiatric nurses. The findings suggest that New Zealand doctors had achieved the Smokefree 2025 goal of minimal (<5%) smoking prevalence and all nurses except psychiatric nurses were on track to do so. Targeted workplace smoking cessation support could be used to reduce smoking among key occupational groups such as Māori nurses.
To examine recent smoking trends among doctors and nurses in New Zealand.
Analysis of smoking prevalence in the 2013 New Zealand Census and comparison with previous census data.
The 2013 census included 7,065 male and 5,619 female doctors, and 2,988 male and 36,138 female nurses. Non-response to smoking questions was less than 3%. In 2013, 2% of male and female doctors and 9% of male and 8% of female nurses were regular cigarette smokers. This compared with 4% male and 3% female doctors, and 20% male and 13% female nurses in 2006. Psychiatric nurses had the highest smoking prevalence (15% male, 18% female). More Māori doctors (6.8%) and nurses (19.3%) smoked. Around 96% of young (<25 years) doctors and 87% of young nurses had never been regular smokers.
By 2013, New Zealand doctors had achieved the Smokefree 2025 goal of minimal (<5%) smoking prevalence and all nurses except psychiatric nurses were on track to do so. This suggests smokefree cultures can be established among substantial occupational groups. However, smoking among Māori nurses was relatively high. Targeted workplace smoking cessation support may be an efficient means to reduce smoking among key occupational groups, and may help reduce population smoking prevalence.
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